Brief one on some thoughts as to whether the players should decertify or take the deal. Sorry this sort of got up late!
Pants: The players gave every inch they should have given, 82 games was there for the owners to take 2 weeks ago. Decertify and make the owners live through taking the red pill. These aren't the owners that created the league who are causing trouble. They are johnny come late-lies who think cutting a $500M check entitles them to massive profits.
When you pay a premium for any business you have to do something new or innovative to make money because the previous gains are built in to the purchase price. How about instead of burning the relationship with the players and fans they make that same money by instituting the playoff for the 8th playoff seeds or something else that generates more money that goes to each team.
Mike: The players should make one, last-ditch attempt to get a Wednesday meeting to negotiate back a few system issues, and then accept the deal regardless. And with that said, it is very upsetting Fisher and Union Lunatic Jeffrey Kessler spoke so ill of the deal and took a constructive discussion out of the picture the other night.
Decertification sounds sexy and cool ("I thought 'treble damages' meant something musical, but it means I can get triple my money back!?"), but given it is this late in the game, the opportunity costs of a lost season with the uncertainty is too great of a risk. It is naive to think the owner's have not prepared for this situation, but to do it in November? No. My guess is a petition will be filed if it comes to that, but just like in 1995, the decertification vote would not pass once players are able to become anonymous in a voting situation. As a reminder: in 1995, over 200 players signed the petition, but only 134 ultimately voted for a decertification and the deal was ratified. Furthermore, the NFL's attempt at this flopped. There are no guarantees. And even if it is an attempt at short term leverage, I don't think it is reasonable to kill another month of the year just so tax paying teams can have a full mid level exception or complete a sign and trade, especially at the risk of the offer dropping to 47% and a hard cap (what I believe to be the owner's true goal, hence why they are offering something that is just good enough to reject).
It also makes little sense to risk more games if there is truth to the idea that players would put the deal to a vote with some system kickbacks from the owners. They are arguing over peanuts at this point, which include system concessions for tax payers, of which there were only four teams this last season.
Lastly, one can shove the Sherman Act and legal jargon down my throat until I pass out, but I still don't see how the offer gets any better from here, decertificiation or not. Take the deal and play ball. Too bad union lunatic Jeffrey Kessler is in the room.....
College Wolf: The Players have made more than enough concessions. The Hard-line Owners are mostly responsible for the mess that everyone is currently in now, and are making unreasonable demands on top of everything they have already received from the Players. If the Players don't stand for something at some point, then where will it stop? And if they get pushed over like this now, how will the next CBA negotiations fare?
I think they should at least begin the process of decertification. Hopefully it gives them some leverage here, and forces the Owners to come to a realization about what they are doing before it's too late. At this point, I wouldn't feel bad about Owners losing tens of millions of dollars on debt, interest payments, and not receiving the revenue they otherwise would during a season. They forced the Players to this ledge, so now they can live with the fallout if the Players don't acquiesce and take their crappy deal. Yes, the Players have expenses too, and a lost season would obviously be bad (and for the fans of course!) However, there are other ways for Players to make money, and hopefully most of them have money saved like they have said they did during the past two years. What are the Owners going to do with their "teams" during a cancelled season? They won't have any other avenues to make their share of $4 billion dollars worth of revenue. Serves them right for creating this mess.
Tim F- While I do not know the details of the deal, I think they players should absolutely take the deal. At this point, any other option will result them in losing massive amounts of money; moreso than if they simply took the deal. David Stern seems to be at a point where he plans to get what he wants, and he won't settle for anything less. When I hear reports that say that he is willing to dip below 50% for the players, I completely believe that he will follow through on that and get what he wants. This is likely the best the players will get.
Also, perhaps it is just me as a fan keeping myself optimistic, but I would like to think that the players, people who play a sport for a living, are missing the game itself. I truly hope that before everything else, they are able to look past the dollar signs (not to mention the fact that they'll be filthy rich regardless) and get back to playing basketball.
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