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The Boys Who Cried Wolf (Stern/Hunter)

Call me crazy.  Call me a Pharaoh of denial.  Call me names if it makes you feel better.  But I'm not buying this.  I understand that the odds are now stacked against reason and sense, but I just can't believe that losing a whole NBA season is legitimately viable for either side.

The players have to know what simple economics means that is the worst case scenario.  Or as Michael McCann puts it:

How educated were the players on what today's move means? Avg NBA career lasts 4.7 years. One lost year is 21.3% of their NBA careers.

You mean to tell me that players (the same players will do just about anything to get to free agency and eek out an extra million, regardless of how many millions they've already amassed) are willing to toss a whole year's worth of paychecks down the drain to save face in a negotiation that most of them aren't even participating in?

The owners are supposedly losing money so in theory they would be less inclined to go another year deeper into the red.  But with the players agreeing to give back 7% of BRI and revenue sharing in the works, how many teams would legitimately lose money on a deal that was tweaked enough for the players union to bite?  So we come back to the fact that losing a whole season is the worst case.  And I haven't even talked about the damage it would do to the game itself.

I personally wouldn't even consider it a remote possibility if it wasn't for the NHL so recently in our rear view mirror.

Still, something doesn't add up.  This still feels like a sham.  

The players don't want to lose the season.  This is just their way of calling Stern's bluff.  As miffed as Stern was at this rejection, he still hasn't announced a cancelled season.  My guess is he won't.

Update: Read Wojo's take on it here - with a similar conclusion.

Make no mistake: Hunter didn’t sell those players on a long court battle, a possible victory with millions and millions of dollars paid for damages. He sold it as a way to lure the owners back to the table, to do something he had been unwilling to do out of self-interest for the longest time: Create leverage and take the fight to the NBA. He’ll never admit it, but those players didn’t walk out of the room completely believing they had forfeited a year’s salary.

Decertification is a process that takes years (plural) to get through if played out to the end.  That's never going to happen.

Stern has threatened the players with a worse proposal (47% and hard cap) but that's never going to be negotiated.

What's going to happen is that after another week or so of bluster and hand wringing and empty threats and useless deadlines, the same thing.  The two sides will sit down and try to negotiate the last few system items keeping them apart and they will come to a compromise that neither side really likes but both are willing to live with. 

That's what's going to happen because that's the only reasonable thing to happen.

Unless, of course, it doesn't.

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