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The parameters of the next CBA are clear. It's a done deal. At some point in the next 12 months, the lockout will end and the NBA will resume play under a new system, the parameters of which are as clear as day.
The next CBA will contain a 90%-pure 50/50 BRI split, a more-punitive luxury tax schedule, and various other restrictions that heavily discourage $100 million spenders from bringing in $10 million more in new players every offseason.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it. The sooner the players accept this, the sooner basketball will be back on our schedule.
It doesn't matter that this deal is so much worse than the last one for the players. I repeat: it doesn't matter. As long as the league is still offering a reasonable share to the players (there are anti-trust and fair labor practice laws in place, after all), the feds won't stop it.
Yes, the owners are greedy asshats who want to have their cake and eat it too. Yes, the players are making all the concessions and getting screwed relative to their prior deal. And yes, we're all sick of the blame game.
But ultimately, the players have no leverage. The owners know this. Federal mediator George Cohen knows this. Union guy Billy Hunter knows this. Derek Fisher knows this. They're not happy about it, but the owners are right that they can hold out longer than the players.
The players' best bet now is to limit further damage. Agree to 50/50 and punitive tax, but work to keep the exceptions in place for teams who want to spend anyway.
When the ink is dry on the paper, the players will still be the highest-paid pro athletes in the world. And the team of owners will still be littered with idiots who run their teams into the ground.
And the fans will return. You know it. I know it. The squeak of rubber soles on hardwood, the bounce of the basketball, the outrageous acrimony over of LeBron James and the lovefest with Blake Griffin will all continue.
The only remaining question is when.