What's really going on here? I'm becoming increasingly confused. According to David Stern the NBA lost $300 million dollars last year and wanted to wipe out the deficit by cutting players share of the "BRI" from 57 percent to around 44 percent.
Now this 300 million dollar loss number was highly debated, but it seems clear there was some losses, because the player's union, after examining the owners books, offered to cut their share of the "BRI" by a couple of points, equivalent to something around $110 million dollars (by my shaky math). But the owners held fast and didn't counter, though according to David Stern (via Chris Sheridan), they worked out a $214M per year revenue sharing deal (by the 2014-15 season). Now, I'm no economist, and I understand that $214 million is largely just moving money from one pocket to another, but with the players $100 million giveback, and a revenue sharing plan that would spread out an additional $160 million to the teams suffering the largest losses, hasn't the league cut a really big hole in that $300 million dollar loss?
If the two sides can agree to adjust the luxury tax system, cut down contract length, and eliminate or reduce the "Mid-level exception" wouldn't that pretty much fix the problem?
So why is David Stern standing hard? Will he make a deal and save the season at the last possible second? Or are the owners really ready to sacrifice games?
Why would Jerry Buss, majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, a wonderfully successful and profitable franchise, with a gigantic new TV package, an aging team with a rapidly closing window of opportunity, agree to lose ANY games, never mind a season or a half a season? Why would Phillip Anschutz, who owns thirty-percent of the Lakers and also owns Staples Center, agree to lose a eighty-two days and nights of NBA basketball? Why would the owners of the Knicks, Celtics, Spurs, or even the Clippers agree to such a thing?
Why would David Stern, after twenty-seven years of sainthood, allow his halo to be tarnished by a season-reducing (or ending) lockout? Why would he risk a player and agent spurred revolution?
I think something is afoot. Jerry Buss (and others) are dedicated David Stern-guys. He's driven this league for twenty-five years and made the owners a lot of money. If he's sold them a two-hundred million revenue sharing plan, then he's also given them what most of them want... a 2012 season. He's also promised the more hawkish owners (Sarver, Gilbert, et al.) that he would take a hard position at the bargaining table.
But now the player's have given back, the clock is ticking down, isn't it almost time for David Stern to put on his robes, don that shining halo, take his position on the golden throne, and wave his magic wand? He gets to act all conciliatory and magnanimous and declare victory and most importantly... he gets the owners everything they want.
Behold the wonder! Behold the magnificience! I have seen the greatness of the future and thy name is Stern!
Uh... Dave? David? Mister Stern? That's you back there isn't it? Does the robe fit okay? Cause I'm getting a little worried. I mean, you're still David Stern, aren't you? Aren't you!?