By Chris Sheridan
“If we didn’t think there was any hope, we wouldn’t be scheduling the meetings. But that’s the best I would say right now.” — David Stern, Oct. 1.
That was about the best thing the commish did say — although he threw in a line about wrestling Dwyane Wade to the ground — Saturday night when collective bargaining talks adjourned and the sides said they would reconvene Monday.
Getting a deal done in the upcoming week is imperative to keeping the scheduled Nov. 1 start of the regular season intact, and sometime in the next couple of days we should expect an announcement canceling the remainder of the preseason.
Optimism is waning, but as I’ve said and written before, no matter how far apart the sides are on the key issue — the division of revenues — if both parties have a clear idea of where the middle ground is, they can make a giant leap from their current respective positions (owners currently are offering the players 46 percent of revenues; the players are asking for 54). And that piece of the puzzle can be completed in a matter of minutes, not hours or days.
So there is hope, but time is dwindling.