In any negotiations; whether it’s between nations, two people, or groups of interest (Owners & Players) each side must be on the same page, in order for progress to be made between both sides. The NFL has shown a direct unity with the players union and the owner are in unison with demands and the end of the NFL lockout is soon to come. The NBA however, its representing parties are not seeing eye to eye in house, much less at the negotiation table.
According to sources close to the situation, the National Basketball Players Association is planning a series of player sessions in as many as six cities over “the next month or so,” as a way to help with their planning during the lockout and update players on the state of negotiations with the NBA. The sessions — which will involve Hunter and other staff members — will be a discussion on lockout life and how best to handle it, with topics ranging players’ health insurance to the overseas option that continues to evolve.
Based on this information, the NFL will kick off the start of the 2011 season as the NBA find a way to help players find ways to handle the lockout. If Billy Hunter and the rest of players knew a lockout was imminent, shouldn’t have these contingency plans for players been in place well before the season ended? I could continue to bash the players association, but the owners aren’t doing much better.
The owners have a clear split between Small-market owners and Big-market owners; remain divided on a new revenue-sharing plan. The main issue is the smaller markets do not have the ability to exceed the luxury tax because they fail to receive additional revenue like the Knicks and Lakers, which use ticket sales and broadcast revenue to improve their teams.
Personally I think the small market owners could use more revenue sharing, which could help them compete for free agents. More money however will not fix the problem, better business management and practice is needed. Oklahoma City is not a large market, but smart draft picks, finding the right coach, making the necessary deals had the Thunder in the Western Conference finals. Increased revenue sharing will not help a franchise make better decisions, throwing money at marginal stars is what gotten some of the small markets in the trouble they’re in now.
Until each side get their internal problems in order, no progress can be made in negotiations and fans might have to deal with the reality of 2011-12 NBA season in jeopardy.