Close but no cigar is an accurate cliche when describing the NBA's ongoing CBA negotiations. It seems for every step forward is quickly followed by two steps backwards. After expressing much optimism on Thursday, talks once again broke down on Friday when the discussion centered on the split of revenues otherwise known as BRI or basketball related income. Once no deal was reached, the NBA announced that all games through November 30 had been cancelled.
"We share the frustrations of our fans, partners, and those who rely on our game for their livelihoods," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. "We remain committed to reaching an agreement that's fair for both the teams and the players and allows for the long-term growth of our game."
Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski breaks down where negotiations stand currently. He writes that ownership was prepared to accept a 50-50 split of the revenues if certain system conditions were met. Everything from the luxury tax to the mid-level exception had been discussed and the league thought there was a deal to be made if the players would move off of their proposed number of 52.5 percent of the BRI.
The union was not willing to make system concessions while also accepting a 50-50 split of the BRI. The Union contends that the league made no concessions in this week's worth of meetings and that everything was virtually the same as it was last week when talks also broke off.
There are two possible outcomes of this development. The most optimistic view would see the two sides get back together over the weekend and try and rekindle the momentum that had been built up throughout the week. However, with the further cancellation of games announcement, that scenario appears to be unlikely.
The sense of urgency surrounding this week's negotiations was in an effort to save an 82 game season. Any chance of having a full season likely vanished when no deal was struck today. Now the posturing begins once again with the league already threatening to adjust their offer to help offset some of the losses caused by cancelling the first month of the season. As the calendar turns to November, players will start to miss paychecks and it remains to be seen how that will affect the union.
The best case scenario would appear to be a deal gets announced in the middle of November and the league is ready to begin play on December 1. However, things appeared today to be so close that both sides could taste it yet the reverted to drawing lines in the sand.