I trust that in the next two days the players will do a fair amount of soul-searching in order to decide whether or not they reject the owners' latest deal. The image that flutters through my mind is one from Game of Thrones' final season episode. There was something out there past the great wall of ice, but nobody knew the risks of exploring past it. How risk-adverse are the the players? Do they want to risk it all in order to gain a victory where both the upside and downside are unknown?
I'm sure the thrill of the fight can feel glorious, but the Rockets' Kevin Martin seems to have a keen understanding of the risks involved:
"If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible...We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we'll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight- to 10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let's be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won't even be in the league when the next CBA comes around." - Kevin Martin
Every option at this point is really a loss, it is just a question of which loss is bigger. Here is what is most disconcerting - we knew all of this six months ago. The players let go of a month of games and income and have nothing further to show for it.
The Union must decide if they are even willing to allow the latest owners' proposal to come to the table for a vote.
There is still some interest on both sides to meet, although the question is what exactly can be resolved when an ultimatum is on the table.
Stern is right - we're approaching a level of what is "rational" vs what is "right" (hint - there is no "right"). Even so, he sounds like a used car salesman with that line.
I've been watching Steve Blake for over a decade, and I still don't understand the concept behind him (like, how did he matriculate through the pros, when all of his championship teammates did not?), especially now since it seems like he actually has a strong voice amidst these negotiations.
Nazr Mohammed continues to be a ballast, fighting out of principle rather than for personal gain. He understands the options:
"In business, (you) never suppose to make it personal or make an emotional decision but I think it's going that way. Pride from both sides is gonna cost us a season, 100's of millions of (dollars), and our fan base. At least I can say that our union is trying to negotiate in good faith, but I hope their/our pride aren't making the decisions here. Cooler heads need to prevail quickly. But what can (you) do when (you) feel like (you're) backed against a wall? There's 3 options...take the deal, counter offer (probably won't work), or decertify the union and put it in the hands of the courts."
More links after the jump.
I'll give Kevin Durant a break on this one - him being bad at Bourre in a way only enhances his persona as an innocent youth navigating through dangerous waters of life. And I'm sure his partaking in adult beverages is really just Durant sipping on a wine cooler.
Blott writes about five pieces of information that owners should divulge before any new CBA is signed. We still don't know the extent to what any of these groups of information have been disclosed. If some of it is being withheld, my guess is that it will stay that way up and until a lawsuit is filed and the Union can access the documents via a procedure called "discovery."
Much like the 2000's are being considered the lost decade, so too we're on the verge of losing a generation of quality NBA since, if this lockout goes to the courts, it will set up the potential for litigation every seven to 10 years.
Ziller's latest reminds me of this classic scene from Pulp Fiction.
Perrin does some quick calculations to determine what the draft order would be if the league uses the past three seasons' aggregated records as the measuring stick.
Here is another voice that expects that the lockout will have only a marginal impact on local economies.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry returned to his college campus to continue with his degree, and granted this insightful interview on his experiences.
This appearance by Dwight Howard in the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will likely cause some to cluck-cluck with disapproval. I'm inclined to think that at the end of the day it will only help out both Howard and Activision.