NBA Superagent and Falk Associates Management Enterprises founder David Falk spoke out today on the labor dispute. You can go to the following link to read the full quotes or listen to the entire interview.
What would you do if you could get in that room and play the role of mediator?
"I volunteered. I've given both sides very, very specific suggestions on how to get over the hurdle. ... I think that I could make this deal in one day, with either party. I really do. I know it sounds egotistical saying that, but I know all the owners well. ... Obviously I've represented players for 37 years. ... I'm disappointed that the young stars of the NBA today, the LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, those guys need to be involved full-time, not part-time. ... I think that they are allowing other people to determine their future financial fortunes, which is a terrible mistake."
On why a deal needs to get done right now:
"We're right up against the deadline. Unlike '98, when we had a 50-game season, I would bet a lot of money that if we miss one or two games, we're going to miss the whole season. This is like Texas Hold'em; it's all in. Everyone has to understand what's at stake. It's my understanding that the owners project if there's no season, they'll lose $1.5 billion and if there's no season the players will lose $2.167 billion in salary, probably another $200 or $300 million more in endorsements."
Who's the bad guy here?
"There are no bad guys. I think that the owners are trying to change a system that they feel isn't working. Obviously there's a number of teams losing money. ... The players are reluctant to give up gains made over a long period of time. So there are no bad guys. This is a difficult challenge, but this is what you hire agents for. In my career, which spans 37 years, I've never once had a player that I represented that I didn't make the deal."
I like Falk's confidence, but what he's essentially trying to present himself as is an impartial arbitrator in his supposition. If this situation gets to such an extreme point of impasse...and it might...an outside decision-maker may represent the last bastion of hope. Until that point is reached, however, it will continue to be two sides with divergent interests who are trenchant in their arguments.