In a last-ditch attempt to avoid the cancellation of regular season games, NBA owners and the players' union will meet tonight and try to find the common ground that has so far been lacking, reports Howard Beck of the New York Times.
Following NBA labor negotiations news can give a person whiplash. There is reason for hope, then talks come crashing down. The math dictates that both sides holding strong makes little sense when compared to the money that will be lost to them if games are cancelled. But there are human emotions involved here; there is pride. The same qualities we love in players when they are on our team, that they will never surrender no matter the situation, don't simply go away when they're off the court.
As CBS Sports' Ken Berger notes:
@KBergCBS: So to sum up, if games are canceled tomorrow, it won't be due to money or common sense. It will be due to ego and stubbornness.
@KBergCBS: That is the money part, which makes sense. The psychological aspect of negotiations, sometimes, does not.
We're almost there, but it means nothing until the deal is closed, and the only way that happens is if players are able to save face. The bottom line when a deal is reached is that the owners will win big. Are they ready to take their winnings, settle now and start the season? Or will they require the players to capitulate again in this final stretch of negotiations? We can only hope that it gets done one way or another. The "everybody loses" option is far too foolish.
Update 10/9/11 3:38PM PDT: Twitter is now blowing up with #fiftyonepointfive. 51.5% is the midway point between the owners' last offer of a 50/50 basketball-related income split and the players' offer of 53/47. Our own Toon Army Sun chipped in with:
@ToonArmySun: Steve Nash & Grant Hill don't have a lot of games left in their careers. Any games lost to this lockout will be a crime.
@HowardBeckNYT: Meeting over. Stern says no comment, except that they're meeting again tomorrow afternoon