Sometimes the saying "no news is good news" applies but when talking about the NBA Lockout no news is bad news everytime. Or at least what news is out there is just more of the same. How these negotiations have broken down so acrimoniously into name calling and childish antics on both sides is beyond me. None of which is actually helping to find a solution to the current problem.
Case in point is Dwayne Wade actually having to announce that he is sticking with the Jordan Shoe Brand despite MJ's hard line stance in negotiations. Really? Was that ever a question? Shoe money didn't stop once the NBA Lockout began. Washington's Nick Young recently took to twitter to say that he would never wear a pair of Jordans again because of MJ's comments. With all due respect to Nick Young, I doubt Michael is losing any sleep over crossing Young off of potential players that might actually be paid to don his shoes.
Then there is Stephon Marbury who also voiced his displeasure of Jordan. It is debatable whether or not anyone even remembers who Stephon Marbury really is anymore. For those that can't remember this is the same Stephon Marbury that forced his way out of a good situation in Minnesota and essentially became a poster child along with Eddy Curry, Gilbert Arenas and others for the owner's complaints with the now expired CBA. Should anyone really pay attention to anything Stephon Marbury has to say?
After rejecting the last proposal from the league, players delivered high fives to each other for finally standing up to "The Man". Well congratulations for finally standing up to David Stern and the other owners but you may very well have killed the league in the process. There is nothing to be celebrated about this situation. Ken Berger clearly describes that the players and that league are entering uncharted territory as these negotiations transform into courtroom proceedings and testimony.
There isn't a lot of legal precedent for a pro athletes' union winning significant damages against their league, and that's for a reason. That's because there have always been, and remain, sound reasons for one side or the other not to want to risk defeat or score too overwhelming a victory. There's a point where routing your opponent in a sports antitrust action becomes just as big a loss for you, and that point is when you emerge and realize that the people you just annihilated won't make particularly good partners when it's over.
The best recourse is for the two sides to get together again and restart negotiations before the court system takes hold. Chris Sheridan calls for David Stern to pick up the phone and set up another meeting with the union.
Show a little humility, pick up the phone again, call Jeffrey Kessler and/or David Boies (or have an intermediary do it), and set up a meeting to settle the lockout and the lawsuits. And this time, keep it a secret to keep external forces from intervening.
Sadly, most of those intervening forces come from Stern's own side in the form of hard line owners that have no interest in negotiating a fair deal anymore. Its a sad resolve that no matter how critical I am of the players and the way they have botched these negotiations from the beginning, it is the owners that aren't even close to being unified with many in no hurry to make a deal or further negotiate. The owners know that if they can survive the court battle then the players will eventually fold.
The question is how much time will that take and what do these two sides hope to eventually return to? They are doing extreme damage to the league but also the sport with every cancelled game. Common sense dictates that it would be in everyone's best interest to have this deal negotiated by people with direct knowledge of the league, its inner workings and its history but to this point neither side is interested in negotiating any further. The entire process has broken down so far that even the lawyers are lobbing grenades at each other.
To me now this isn't even about saving a portion of this season. I am rapidly approaching the who cares about a 50 game asterisk filled season that will do more harm to older players than good crowd. What is at stake is the future of the game and the league and its continued growth. How can either side ensure that now when they can't even pick up a phone and make a call?