It’s sort of ironic that today, I had to the pleasure to participate in a fire alarm drill. Really it is. Because it is now the 90th day into the lockout and both sides have yet to have something to agree on. And it’s irritating. I’m sick of writing articles about the lockout. I want to read and write about the upcoming season. Make predictions, give bio info on the new guys, complain about the Big 3, discussing the move of the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn. Instead, I’m forced to endure this tedious pain that the owners and player union want me to endure. Really irritating.
David Stern has sounded the alarm, raised the flag and started fires saying that if no agreement is going to put in place by the end of this week, most likely the season would not start in time. Well no kidding. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And by the looks of things, things are moving as slow as molasses. The good news to come out of camp on Tuesday is that the owners have budged slightly on their end. There were some key elements that were altered to help move negotiations along and relax a hard salary cap from owners.
1) “Larry Bird Exceptions”- Teams can exceed the cap in order to retain their own free agents regardless of other salary commitments will be limited to one player.
2) “Mid-Level Exception” which was at $7.4 million and extended up to five years would now be reduced in monetary and length of time.
3) Under the current luxury tax, the penalty is $1 for $1 for every dollar that exceeds the salary cap. In the future, the owners would want that penalty to increase dramatically.
4) Owners also proposed to the players a cut from the 57% of players’ share of basketball related income (BRI) to 46%. As of Tuesday, the owners raised percentage to 48%.
5) Finally, the owners want a five precent reduction on all existing salaries for this season, another 7.5 percent reduction of all 2012-13 salaries and 10 percent reduction of 2013-14 salaries.
With all these stipulations, it would seem rather difficult to come to some kind of agreement. However, with all these suggestions, it may be easier to come to an agreement since the owners have laid out what they want. I do hope that in sometime in the near future everyone gets what they want and finally the fans get a season to cheer about.
*** Sources include: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7031637/nba-lockout-owners-players-meet-friday-possibly-weekend