The Day Before The Day of Reckoning.

October 10th, 2011.

The most important day of the NBA lockout to date. That is the day that the first 2 weeks will be shaved off of the regular season NBA schedule. There will be no games played. This is after the preseason and training camp has already been taken away from us.

Today may be just as important as tomorrow in terms of the lockout; apparently, there will be a meeting today in the 11th hour. The season could possibly be saved tonight all depending on how negotiations go tonight.

According to most NBA insiders, the owners made an offer to the players that consisted of a 50/50 split between the BRI of the NBA and the players. At first the players union wasn’t open to moving from that 50/50 split stance; they weren’t going to take it. According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, however, they’ve reconsidered and are willing to negotiate.

As we all know, the players recieved 57% of the Basketabll Related Income in the last agreement that the league and the players came up with. Each percentage point is worth about 40 million dollars, so that’s about a 280 million dollar cut for the players. Beck did the math in his article also.

The players have been earning 57 percent of basketball-related income and offered to reduce their share to an annual average of 53 percent, which would be a pay cut of at least $120 million a year. Dropping to 50-50 split would mean a pay cut of at least $280 million a year, notwithstanding any increase in league revenues.

The players were willing to drop that percentage down to 53 but they weren’t willing to go any lower. The owners said that the players had to accept the 50/50 split or there was no point in negotiating. The owners have somewhat softened that stance it seems, but are still not willing to go over the 50/50 split that they had supposedly proposed according to a tweet by Chris Broussard.

There were a few sources that said that the owners had originally offered a 51/49 percent split in their favor on Tuesday. That was the last meeting that was held between the NBA and NBAPA; Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter said that the next meeting wasn’t dated, it could be months from now. It seemed like the season was left in limbo really.

There had been talk of decertification being pushed by the agents of the NBA players. That would’ve took a chunk out of, and possibly even ended, the whole NBA season. The agents of the players have since backed off of that stance according to league sources. Some say that the letter from the agents to the players said nothing of decertification in the first place. It gave Union Leader Derek Fisher enough worry to write a letter to the players basically warning them about the agents and their stance.

This has been a wild week in terms of the lockout indeed. Many people have thought that the season was all but done for. At least for the first two weeks. Adrian Wojnarowski even tweeted last night that the first 2 weeks of the season would be cancel. If you go down his feed you can see that here.

Its officially the 11th hour today. The meetings are still in progress right now, and they’ve been going on since this morning. If a deal to save the season is going to be done it’ll happen here. As of now, I think there will be an NBA season. They are about 3 percentage points apart in their deal for the BRI for each side. That’s a lot of progress from where both sides were at at first. They’re both reeling to get a deal done. Both sides would like for basketball to be played on time.

Some players have said that they’d accept a 50/50 BRI split between the two side, some have said that they would not. They’d like more to come out of this deal. In my opinion, the players have already lost the negotiations. As I’ve said many times before, they lost when they didn’t fight the owners claims that they’ve lost money. They could’ve combated that but instead they chose to play it safe and not say anything. That was their first mistake. Now they’ve got to get the fairest deal that they can possibly get, and I think that a 50/50 split is generous coming from the owners.

After that part of the deal comes, much of it should flow into place. The owners have already backed off of the proposed hard cap and will leave room for some exceptions. Its basically just going to be the same system that was in place before, except there will be less money spent. Probably a little less exeptions in exceeding the cap also.

Now its up to Billy Hunter to sell this deal to the players. Can he do it? I’m not sure. A lot of players have rejected the concepts of this deal, so it should prove to be a difficult task for Hunter. If he can sell it a deal will be done and we will have basketball on time.

NBA fans, the time is now. Lets hope that in the next couple of hours something can get done. I think we’ll have basketball very, very soon.

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