I've been sitting here trying to summon words that make sense. Words that don't come off as another rant. I just can't do it.
But that photo sums it up nicely for me.
I can't believe we're here. With so much money at stake. With so much momentum to make even more. I simply cannot believe we're at this point, with both sides choosing weapons for a draw at high noon rather than playing exhibition games.
I would have thought that, from the ownership side, a 4 or 5 year deal that saw significant union concessions and tweaks to the infrastructure that move the league towards greater profitability and parity made sense. After this deal ended, if the progress wasn't enough, then you try again and ask the players to move even more. This way, you can keep building on the popularity the sport had gained. You could keep the flow of money coming in. You could preserve the good will of the fans.
But the owners want it all and they want it now. If Paul Allen had owned the Sistine Chapel, he'd have fired Michelangelo for dilly-dallying. That's how impatient these guys are.
It doesn't even matter anymore if the season starts next week, next month, or next year. The damage is done. Fans are spent. The vitriol after last night's talks flipped the switch. No one's on the fence anymore. Fans are either still paying attention, or they're gone.
Players have moved enough to make a deal. They even moved off their 53% of the BRI demand to propose a sliding scale between 50-53%. They're coming up with ideas and negotiating. The other side, however, isn't. Sadly, this was their plan all along. All of these meetings have just been for show. It's obvious we were never going to have a full season. David Stern was never going to let that happen unless everyone bowed before him.
The players didn't. And they shouldn't. Nor should we.
David Stern wanted this to be his grandest moment. He wanted this to be the time where he revolutionized the NBA. Instead, he may be killing it slowly right before our very eyes.
Maybe that wasn't a facepalm after all. Maybe he just didn't want to see what is about to happen to the sport.