Unfortunately, when talks resume on Saturday, the two sides won't be as close to a solution as they appeared to be this time last weekend. In fact, tomorrow could very well be the 2011-2012 season's boiling point [via ESPN]:
The NBA ownership group's labor committee will reopen talks with the players' side Saturday afternoon, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, a meeting one general manager, who has spoken with a few owners, described as "headed straight for disaster."
The talks will follow a meeting between the NBA's 30 owners Saturday morning in which they will discuss revenue sharing and the state of negotiations, sources told Broussard.
But optimism is not running high.
Add in heavy rumors that the NBAPA is seriously considering to send a strong message by decertifying the union, something labor law experts lament would (further) jeopardize the entire season. The tactic certainly isn't likely to get the owners to budge from their stubborn stance:
Owners are determined to reshape the league by creating a system like the NFL or NHL, where spending is capped and small-market teams truly can compete with the big boys. But reforming the NHL's financial structure required a lengthy lockout, wiping out the entire 2004-05 season. And the NFL is making money, not losing it.
The players have offered to reduce their share of revenue from 57 percent to 52.5 percent, a concession they feel is more than enough to cover their end of the league's stated $300 million in annual losses. Owners have offered a 50-50 split, along with significant changes to the system that include a more punitive luxury tax on teams that exceed the salary cap, shorter contracts and a lower mid-level exception.
After giving fans hope last weekend, the NBA has done nothing to reassure fans that they are determined to prevent a season from being canceled entirely. In fact, the fans appear to be a distant thought at this point altogether.