FanPost

Confessions of a lockout junkie

My name is Scott and I'm a lockoutaholic. 

I know the first step is to admit I have a problem, so it's come down to this. 

I have spent the last 4 months reading and listening to everything I can regarding the labor struggle between the NBA and the NBPA. All I want is to see my beloved Clips play again. 

I have read thousands of tweets from the likes of KBerg, Sheridan Hoops, Chris Broussard, Howard Beck, and countless others. I've had my hopes raised by anonymous sources only to be disappointed later. 

I have become somewhat of an expert on labor relations and can explain the difference between a disclaimer of interest and decertification. I know about antitrust  charges and treble damages, the workings of the NLRB and even which circuits are the best to file your suits.

It now seems we are at a crucial point of the "negotiations". Either the players take the "deal" foisted upon them by the league, or attempt a difficult legal maneuver through decertification. 

This was never a fair fight. The players lack any meaningful leverage against a foe that is willing to give up a season or two to get what they want. The NBPA has made concessions on nearly every point, but it is still not enough for the league. They know what they want and will get it in the end. 

I understand how the players feel, but they have to realize they simply have a bad hand. The owners know the players will eventually bend to their will and are negotiating from a position of power. They are not treating the players like partners, but mere employees. I think this is shortsighted in fostering future growth, but that's how they have chosen to proceed.

That being said I don't feel sorry for the players. It's the owners league and they can make the rules. The players will still be very well compensated, but not as well as in the expired CBA. Some changes in the system should result in more parity which would be good for the league. I think deserving players will be compensated well and those who perhaps aren't as good or don't have as good a work ethic will find their compensation diminished. 

I hope the players take the deal as I think the alternatives are very risky for them and the state of the league.

I don't think Stern is bluffing this time. The fact is his influence among current owners is limited. He is trying to make a deal the hardline owners will approve and has to spin it the best he can. He certainly doesn't want to miss a season, but his hands are somewhat tied. If the players reject this offer, I believe the league will go with their reset offer of 47% , flex cap, and rollbacks. The players will decertify and the season will probably be history. The only way the players can come out ahead in this scenario is if they are successful with their antitrust suit. I don't think the league is really afraid of losing in court. If the players lose their suit, they will have even less leverage. The league will essentially impose whatever system they want and the players will have no choice but to accept it if they want to play.

Their only other option would be start a new league, but it would be very difficult and probably less financially rewarding. I am looking forward to a resolution and hope to be back watching games soon, but part of me is fascinated with how this will all play out.

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