By Chris Sheridan
I’ve already given you my take on yesterday’s collective bargaining negotiations in New York.
So we shall once again take a trip around the Internet to have a look at the views of the writers who have been closely covering this dispute.
_ Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: “The only thing both sides agreed on after this latest round of posturing and semi-negotiating was that the players had come to the table with economic concessions the owners and NBA negotiators could live with — or at least could envision writing into a new CBA. Though no written proposals were formally exchanged, hidden amid all the rhetoric and doomsday prognosticating was something extraordinary for how lost it became: the NBA and its union are on the verge of solving the biggest dispute between them, as in how much money each side gets.”
_ Howard Beck, New York Times: “ The gloomy commentary on Tuesday obscured the fact that the parties are inching toward each other on the financial component of a new labor deal. Each side put a new proposal on the board last week, when the top negotiators met in a smaller group, according to a league official. A significant gap remains in dollars, but it is gradually shrinking, the official said. Stern referred multiple times Tuesday to the prospect of an agreement on the financial parameters. “We have a sense that, within a certain tolerances, there’s a potential economic deal that may be within view,” Stern said.
_ Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: “The NBA wants everything, because they don’t believe they’ll need to compromise. They want everything, because they believe this union will crumble, and bow before them. Three hours of waiting, and Hunter had to be sick to his stomach on Tuesday. Now, the 2011-12 season is assured to be delayed, and yes, games will be lost. Perhaps Hunter gave too much, too fast, but the players desperately wanted to make a deal this week. They’ll lose this collective bargaining fight to the owners; they just don’t want to lose in a complete bloodbath. Now, the bigger issue looms for Hunter: When he goes to Las Vegas on Wednesday for the most important players meeting of his tenure as executive director, does he found a coup awaiting him? … He’s already lost the top agents, who are laying the groundwork for a coup, sources told Yahoo Sports. The decision to make a move on Hunter could come as soon as this week, agents privately said.
_ Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: “ The curtain was pulled back enough Tuesday on a conflict that is less about how much money goes to player compensation than about how it gets distributed. Hard salary cap vs. soft salary cap, to be specific. This is the Celtics vs. Lakers-like blood feud of the lockout, its Russell vs. Chamberlain rivalry, debate and matter of taste. It is the philosophical difference that most separates the warring factions.”
_ Henry Abbott, ESPN.com TrueHoop: “Amazingly, both the players and the league implied on Tuesday that a solution to the money problem is in sight, but talks have been broken off because they simply cannot see eye to eye. If it’s not money, what is it? It’s the structure of the salary cap. The players really want it to stay roughly like it is (with exceptions such as the mid-level and Bird rights), while the NBA simply does not want, in essence, the Lakers to spend more than twice as much on players as the Kings, which they currently do thanks to those same exceptions.”
_ J.A. Adande, ESPN.com (from Las Vegas): “ I believe the owners will enforce the lockout through the scheduled start of the season, and that when it ends it will be on the owners’ terms. In the meantime, I’ll pass along the advice that was given to me from a league source Tuesday: “Rhetoric will get louder, so bring your common-sense filter daily and don’t get too deep into public comments.”