Lockout update: BRI split to be discussed Friday

NEW YORK — Billy Hunter told the world the sides in the NBA lockout are “within striking distance of a deal,” and he told SheridanHoops.com even more: “The BRI split is the very first thing we are going to try to tackle in the morning.”

Owners and players met for 7 1/2 more hours Thursday after putting in a nearly 15 1/2 hour session that began Wednesday and ended after 3 a.m. Thursday. Exhausted after the 23 hours of meetings, the sides called it a night relatively early and decided to resume negotiations at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Once again, the sides stayed away from the most thorny issue: The split of revenues known as basketball-related income. The owners are offering a 50/50 deal, the players are asking for 52.5 percent, and hardliners on both sides believe the other side should be giving the most when they try to meet somewhere in the middle.

The subject has not been discussed since last Thursday, when the owners’ 50/50 offer was presented as a “take it or leave it” ultimatum and led to the acrimonious breakup of the talks.

They have taken to calling it “the elephant in the room,” and the elephant will be front and center first thing in the morning, Hunter said as he left the talks. 

The sides have made progress on many salary cap system issues, but how punitive the new luxury tax will be remains a particularly sore sticking point. The 23 hours have been spent methodically plodding through several other system issues, and a middle ground still needs to be found on several of the particulars (e.g. maximum annual raises, which the union wants to keep at 10.5 percent for unrestricted free agents and 8 percent for others. The owners have been asking that those percentages be cut to 4.5 and 3, respectively, and it is unclear if they have moved off that position). 

“We’ve spent a lot of time on the system the in the last two days, and I expect that tomorrow we’ll be in a position to see whether we made adequate progress on that to be able to turn to the split,” commissioner David Stern said. “I think that we are not close enough right now (on system issues), but I expect with a good night’s sleep we’ll both come in with resolve to get closer.”

Stern was asked straight up whether it would be a failure of the sides didn’t get a deal done in the next couple days.


To which deputy commissioner Adam Silver decided to pose a question himself: “Could you elaborate?

“No,” Stern said. “No elaboration, but the fair answer and the direct and honest answer is yes.”

So to recap, there is no deal yet on several system issues, there has been no discussion of the BRI split — but there also have been no doomsday game cancellation press releases from the NBA’s media office.

Friday, obviously, is crucial.

“For deal-making purposes, everything’s on the table and there’s no question that trades are often made when you have the final pieces of a deal that you need to put together,” Silver said. “But we remain apart on both, so from that standpoint we’re disappointed.”

Said Stern: “There’s no guarantees we’ll get it done, but we’re going to give it one heck of a shot tomorrow. And I think Billy and the union’s negotiators feel the same way. I know that ours do. We’re prepared to negotiate over everything.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Stern said.

So is the entire basketball world.



  1. Troy says

    here’s a thought – why don’t they break down the BRI by profitability? for instance, arison/dolan/buss are ready to play this minute. so they pay players 52.5% (b/c lets be honest they can EASILY afford it). next tier of owners pays 51.5%, ie cuban, grousbeck, allen, pollin, sterling etc. finally, the stingy ass owners (gilbert, sarver, maloofs, taylor, other small markets like charlotte/indy/milwaukee), the muthaf’ers who are HOLDING up this deal, pay their lousy 50% share like they want. the %BRI would be based on your annual profits, say you lose money, then you’re in the 50/50 tier. you break even or make a little bit, you rise to the next tier. the owners that are printing money hand over fist stay in the highest bracket. simple, no? money would be held in escrow until the end of the year, profits would be analyzed (help us kevin murphy to figure out truly which teams are hurting and which are just playing depreciation games or accounting gimmicks) and then teams would pay out their BRI% depending on how well they did INDIVIDUALLY.

    in return, i would outlaw the selling of picks for cash (b/c its what sleazy owners do to save $$), i would divide the revenue sharing pie EQUALLY so that all owners are invested and benefiting, and add the 8 seed playoff idea (to discourage tanking and provide a little extra revenue to teams on the bubble). there might also need to be some penalty for losing money year after year i think, b/c that has to reflect poor management…lose a draft pick for 4 consecutive money losing seasons?

  2. Brenda says

    Okay, maybe they need some women in there. This is getting to be just plain stupid. Negotiate, compromise and start playing basketball for pete’s sake! They are so close it’s insane that they are taking so long to get to an agreement. It looks much more promising, but come on already!

    By the way, I love how the poll results have been changing as the story unfolds.

    • Adrian says

      Ummm Brenda, i think the owners are playing the part of the woman in these negotiations. LOL- they are sitting back and watching the players make all the concessions throughout this entire process…. then accusing the players of being greedy and not wanting to make a deal. just playin. I share your optimism but let us not pretend we have a clue to the logic in that room…. I gave up speculating on that about a month ago.

      And the poll is rather amusing, people are sheep and its great. It seems like a week ago people were saying there wont be any agreement for atleast 1-2 years. Now people are expecting it before the end of the weekend. The breakdown of this poll will be interesting to read about.

  3. William Hughes says

    The renewed optimism definitely came out of Billy Hunter’s interview with Bill Simmons. Had I not listened to that, I would have not been optimistic about Wednesday’s reconvening.

    Hopefully by Saturday morning we can legitimately start talking about free-agency and trades.

    • Adrian says

      it may be around sunday before they have a full agreement on a deal in place. Assuming this thing gets done. Friday is likely the day that if things are gonna get nasty they will. making it through friday would dramatically increase the chances of a deal happening this weekend.

      When david stern said he is going there to negotiate on “everything”, I have to take that as good news. Him saying that to the public hopefully will prevent a walk out ultimatum like last week.

      Stern also made a rather telling statement in wednesdays press confrence. He said it in a commical way, so a lot of people might not have thought too much of it. One of the reporters asked him something about how “you handled things last week when that blow up happened”

      Stern immediately seperated himself from that situation. he said something along the lines of “Me?? I wasnt here last week, I leave these guys alone for one day and all hell breaks loose”

      Yeah it was with a smile and all for the camara and not to completely destroy adam silver who was sitting next to him. … but with any luck could stern use this opportunity to be a hero? he has already proven that he knows there is a real chance to seperate himself and literally save basketball for the holidays- talk about a storybook ending for his carreer (this likely being his last lockout)

  4. ignarus says

    This all sounds nice enough, but I’ll stick with my baseline “nothing good will happen” expectations for now, thank you.

    • Adrian says

      yknow- charles barkley even sounded like he thought the season would start. He questioned whether trying to get 82 games in made sense…. but he didnt sound like the same sir charles of the last 3 months.


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