A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Don’t freak out yet (on the union dissolving)

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I’ve avoided posts about the NBA lockout because there’s a) A lot of them, b) Most of them are boring, and c) I don’t have anything new to say about it

I will say this. As much as today seemed like the worst case scenario – The union dissolved in order to take the NBA owners to court in anti-trust lawsuits – Let me talk you off the ledge at least for a few days:

1. What separates the owners and players right now is laughably small. Essentially it comes down to this. The players want the the same MLE (mid-level exception) and sign and trade rules as in the last CBA, while the non hardline owners proposed that teams over the luxury tax limit to have a smaller MLE (2.5 million instead of roughly 6) and for extend-and-trades to be illegal. The fact that either side could be making a season threatening fuss over something so small is a complete joke. There are only 4 teams presently slated to be over the luxury tax next season (LA Lakers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Boston Celtics) – Essentially, 4 new contracts are effected by the new MLE rule. 4 players will get a little more money and the league will have to compete with 4 more teams for the MLE. Does that seem like a big deal to you? Because it doesn’t to me. Hell, there’s so many dumb MLE contracts on players like Travis Outlaw and Drew Gooden that taking away the ability for small market teams (the vast majority and ones driving the lockout) to get a few of them should be a good thing for the league. As for the players, how does 4 million a year annually for 4 players and a slightly extra right to choose your destination make up for all the lost cheques that will come out of losing the season? We’re talking about a minor issue here. If you ask me, I’d lean towards the owners who should be more ashamed about not tweaking the deal to the same tax and S&T rules as before. I can’t see how those tweaks are worth fighting a season over. The lack of a smaller MLE for over tax teams and a rule preventing extend-and-trades isn’t even in the stratosphere of the reasons NBA teams have been losing money. If anything the MLE market including over tax teams adds to the reason NBA teams lose money by giving them a greater chance to hand out bad contracts.

2. Thus, I have to assume there’s at least a reasonable chance that logic wins out. That either the owners or the players realize they have a lot more to lose here than to gain and it’s not even close. As far as I can tell, the damage of today isn’t irreversible. Get the owners in a room and vote on the tweaks. Once the deal is passed onto the players the union can either be put together again quickly, or there’s a chance they catch it before it’s officially disbanded. I am sure many of the owners against the tweaks (the hardliners) were already against the original proposal. The owners who were willing to offer this proposal, who wanted that 72 G season, are likely willing to give up just a little more. If they accept the last CBA’s tax and S&T rules, this lockout is still an overwhelming victory for them with the Basketball Related Income dropping from 57% to 50%, the amnesty clause being provided, smaller length of contracts, and so forth.

When a deal is this close, when two sides are separated by details this inconseqeuntial compared to the damage of a lost season and a lengthy court case – logic says you just should take the deal. You don’t lay $10,000 on the line for the chance of winning an extra $10. When I was younger and just out of school, in a fight with my parents, I threatened to leave behind everything in my life just to not deal with them anymore and started making plans for a completley new start. Within a day I realized it simply wasn’t worth it to give up the things I had and loved in my life just to get rid of something I didn’t, when the former group far outweighed the latter. I hope either the NBA owners or players come to a similar conclusion and get this train back on the tracks.

Written by jr.

November 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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