Stern sounding desperate to make a deal

By Chris Sheridan

See that headline up above?

That is my take on commissioner David Stern’s comments Thursday insisting an NBA labor deal needs to get done next Tuesday, when owners and players meet with a federal mediator.

The money quote from Stern, in my mind, was this: ” We’re ready to sit down and make a deal. I don’t believe that the union is. Hopefully by Tuesday, aided by the mediator, they’ll be ready to make a deal. Certainly, I’ll bring my owners ready to make a deal.”

Stern also said his “gut” tells him there won’t be any games on Christmas if a deal is not cut next Tuesday, the day before two days of owners meetings.

Read more here from Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press.



  1. leroy carlton says

    I think everyone is missing the big issue here, the people that lose in the end are the fans, die hard basketball lovers of the NBA, me I love college, all sports it seem now are all about the money. Players playing for 4 and 5 teams in there careers, think about it. Michael Jordan should have never played for the Wizards etc. Fans who paid season tickets for there teams will get there money back but no games, that is the reason that they paid for the tickets. I am a Chicago Bulls fan and I love my team, but from the looks of it, I won’t get to see them play because of what is going on. All the jobs that the NBA supply from every areana in the states, everyone loses if a deal is not met. I want to see basketball, I love basketball, the NFL only last for so long. Players and Owners need to think, you are hurting the fans, who is a big part of you money that you both receive.

  2. chaka says

    Basketball is one of the few businesses where the employees actually have the upper hand since the business cannot go on without them.Moreover, what do the owners risk other than their money? Which they can make for as long as they want to remain in the business. A players career can be over in an instant. No one held a gun to the head of any owner to make them offer a bad contract to a deadbeat player and the ones who cannot judge talent or who make bad decisions like the cavaliers who could have traded LBJ to the Heat for two up and coming young players like Dorell Wright and Michael Beasley who collectively avg over 30 points and 10 rebounds for their respective teams and instead wound up with nothing in return, will continue to make bad decisions under a new CBA, the only difference is the rest of the league will share revenue with them so they’ll make money anyway. Talk about socialism!!!

  3. Bob says

    This article is funny and doesnt understand basic business principals. The players cant win this. If an owner is not making money he will make make cuts or change how he does business. The players are overpaid so salaries need to come down. That is a clear cut business decision. The Christmas thing is simple reality for the players. The difference between 50 and 53% is this. After 3 weeks out all the increase in the difference is permanently lost for the first year because they lose 100% of salary for those 3 weeks. By Christmas all the increase for all 6 years is lost for the entire contract. The players will make more money at 50% signing now than holding out for 53% by Christmas. After Christmas they will lose more money if they get the 53% than if they sign now for 50%. The owners got the players by the B………..s and they know it. Just look at the financial numbers. The players are entering a no win scenario from here on out all they can do is lose income and gain very little in return. The owners are sitting in a very good situation because they can re-coop whatever they lose over time both percentage wise and value of their teams. The lower the percentage the bigger their increase in value of their team. Their recovery situation is better. The players do not get to re-coop, they only lose income.

    • Paul says

      You scenario makes sense if the period of the new CBA is grandfathered to the beginning of the current season. Otherwise, the players have given up no leverage. While they may be losing salary, the owners are missing out on revenues they’d otherwise be garnering in the form of tickets, concessions, etc. I’d also imagine that they’ll probably lose out on some TV money for un-televised games. It seems to me that the owners are probably losing more, the longer this thing stretches out, particularly in the form of fan support in the long-term. As for the idea that player salaries are too high…if so, it’s only because the owners made it so.

  4. mansal says

    I think fans who have paid in advance seats on the court, they have to sue the team owners, due they will not comply with the contract this season. pressure against the owners.

    • Andrea (Italy) says

      People who paid in advance for tickets are going to get refunds, plus interest, for every single game they puchased tickets for. It has been said so many times…

  5. ignarus says

    Stern’s always been ready to “make a deal,” it’s just that the specific deal he’s willing to make is still insultingly self-serving at the expense of the players.

    What possible reason could you have to believe that this is something other than more lies to distract us from the malicious greed that got us here in the first place?

    By now, it’s clear that David Stern’s word is utterly worthless.

    • says

      I agree with you 100%. I have no faith that Stern wants to make a deal that will end this lockout. Instead he’s willing to make a deal that will allow his side to get the better end of things. I have no faith that this will get done any time soon.

    • Warren says

      Why is it that if the owners want to actually make money in this deal, it’s considered greed. there is no other industry that allocates 57% of its revenue to the employees. That problem is that they should have never agreed to such a deal in the first place. As stern stated, the owners honored the deal until it expired (no opt outs). The deal with the NFL is below 50%. If all the players want to go to Europe, then fine. Let’s start over since the majority are overpaid in the first place.

      • mark says

        “Why is it that if the owners want to actually make money in this deal, it’s considered greed. there is no other industry that allocates 57% of its revenue to the employees”

        Are you an IDIOT?

        Employee payroll and benefits are typically the largest component of business cost in the service and entertainment industry, and, as you may not know, basketball is ‘entertainment’ ( unless you have been ‘serviced’ by a NBA player :)

        actors guilds and companies, Model agencies, real estate sales brokers, law firms, music groups routinely devote the lions share of all revenue to the stars that produce it. RACING

        Hospitals, with their expensive, highly trained nurses and doctors typically pay 55 to 65% of all revenue in salaries and benefits

        Goldman Sachs – 65%

        Morgan Stanly – 75%

        you – shut the f* up, 100%

      • mark says

        Oh btw:

        “As stern stated, the owners honored the deal until it expired (no opt outs). ”


        The deal was slated to include this current season, the decision was made to OPT OUT this season, and advance notice was given in December of last year.

        “The deal with the NFL is below 50%. If”

        FALSE: read the NFL CBA again.

  6. Gregel says

    The last thing he sounded was desperate. If anything, he was putting public pressure on the union. When there are no games at Christmas that means no games in January and perhaps he’s hoping the fans pressure the players. And Stern being interviewed by Stephen A. Smith? No tough questions. Smith’s bias to get a deal done no matter what was evident throughout the interview. This was a P.R. move to apply pressure from a friendly outlet, nothing more (sadly).

  7. dan says

    Wow, Chris. You keep getting it wrong all the time. Stern and the owners are perfectly willing to lose the season. Come on, man. If the season is lost, the union is done for good. Hunter will be fired if he can’t save the season. Fishy wil be goner as union prez. Come on Chris , get it right for pete’s sake.

  8. says

    The whole thing is so terribly run.

    If Stern wants to change the system, he should have put it in motion last year and set up an interim CBA to play with while they sorted it all out. Seriously, no other business would truly wait until a contract runs out to renegotiate it it if they wanted to change it so dramatically.

    Personally I would have seen what goes on in sports elsewhere and stolen a bit of it from that. For example, if someone gets traded to another team, then a new contract is renegotiated. Where else do you hold on to your previous contract when you move jobs? The NBA is alien to us but it must have some semblance of reality otherwise we’re all screwed.

  9. says

    Every time anyone says anything, the media takes it as optimistic. I hope you guys get back to work soon too…this whole thing is getting stupid. :(

  10. Cameron says

    Yeah agree with Frank, it seems to me like he’s spinning it back on the players here. In my mind, the players have made plenty of concessions; name me another union in the world that has actually given money BACK to its employers???

    • Paulpressey25 says

      Cameron, a large portion of unions have given concessions from their prior contracts. Those unions that haven’t given concessions don’t exist anymore as their comanies either went under or saw the jobs go overseas to China.

      Stephen A. Smith had it right today. The owners have backed off of non-guaranteed contracts and a true hard cap. Those are two huge wins for the players.

      Chris, Stern isn’t desperate at all. He’s just playing hardball. If the players want to really throw Stern for a loop, they should simply agree to a hard cap but hold tight at 55 percent of revenues.

      THAT would throw the owners for a loop. All of their “system” demands met in exchange for a greater percentage of the revenues. In the end, the players as a whole then get more money.

      • illyb says

        Honestly I don’t think the hard cap is really the issue or a flex cap or a punitive luxury tax. The devil is in the details of each of these, if the hard cap is high enough players wouldn’t care. You can set up each of them in such a way that they all have the same end game. But owners want both money and a hard cap.

        Players don’t want a contracts like the NFL has where role players get cut and shuffled from teams every season. They want to have some say in where they go and flexibility on how much they sign for. A hard cap pretty much lets owners dictate the terms of what little contracts remain negotiable (not rookie, min or max salaries)

        • paulpressey25 says

          Players may not want non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL. But at the end of the day, the prior system produced a ton of deadweight contracts. And it isn’t just Eddy Curry. You’ve got Tim Thomas, Matt Carroll, Calvin Booth, Jerome James, Antoine Walker, etc. etc, etc.. Heck even Rasheed Wallace really didn’t put out until his $18 million dollar deal was going to expire in 2004. The guy was a cancer all those years he was guaranteed his $18 million a year payout.

          Big time players and small time players have all dogged it under their guaranteed deals. Until the players figure out how to address this problem, they will always lose the PR battle and the owners will have some level of moral high ground in CBA negotiations.

          That’s why the players need to decide whether they want system reforms or a lower percentage of the total revenue. They had it all in the prior CBA. And it resulted in a lot of teams not being competitive and losing money.

    • warren says


      Try this latest NFL labor deal. Money went back to owners and no games were lost. Reasonable heads prevailed here.

  11. Frank says

    Chris, I disagree. I think Stern is applying pressure to see if he can pressure the players into accepting his terms, which they won’t. You have to look at thismfrom the players standpoint, in my opinion. Everything he has on the table right now is a give back by the players. They can’t give back everything and put that in front of the players for a vote. Tell me one thing they would accept that wouldn’t be giving back or at best status quo. In their minds, why should they give back 7% of the revenue? Just to keep a soft cap? Or a soft cap with more limited Bird rights? With fewer years on contracts? With higher luxury taxes? Not happening without a long strike in my view.

  12. illyb says

    I dunno sounded to me like both sides were fed up with the other not budging enough. When he said deal I substituted; a defacto hard cap, 50/50 split and shorter contracts.

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