I am guilty of sensationalism over the NBA lockout as much as anyone, but there has been a little voice in the back of my head that’s saying over and over and over again that the dots don’t connect, and there MUST be something else going on. My suspicions were confirmed this morning when word leaked that team and league officials had a video conference over revenue sharing. Makes sense right? That the revenue sharing piece of the puzzle that Adam Silver emphatically exclaimed does not affect collective bargaining and is guaranteed to come to $150 million over the next three years is still being talked about?
This same issue came out when the last round of talks blew up before the first two weeks of the season were canceled. Revenue sharing was a little blip that David Stern talked about when canceling the first two weeks, but he assured us it would be taken care of shortly, so the negotiations only had to focus on BRI and system. Two weeks later the BRI split was essentially solved, somewhere in the 50-52 range, probably a band with those numbers. Next up is system, and if you read a previous article here you can see how the owners’ system arguments are B.S. So really, the last piece of the puzzle is, you guessed it, revenue sharing.
Reports today indicate that the owners are no closer to figuring out revenue sharing as they have been the last three years. Instead of starting a big-media market vs. small-media market fan war over revenue sharing, its easier to point the entire arsenal at the players and say that they don’t want competitive balance, and they don’t want to agree on growing the league. Word came out after last week’s failed talks that just hours before Silver claimed that revenue sharing was solved, several owners had deep misgivings about Wyc Grousbeck’s (Boston Celtics) plan to save the small market teams. No one was convinced. Sound familiar? Same thing happened in the NFL, then they had a lockout, then they solved revenue sharing, and then everything fell into place.
Don’t believe the hype coming from anywhere. There is no way that Billy Hunter is stupid enough not to understand that this is happening, but its not in his best interest to expose it either. The players aren’t part of this discussion, all they can do is keep on hammering the owners so when they finally do get around to fixing revenue sharing, the players won’t get absolutely rolled on the system and BRI split. It actually looks like its working, and when the owners figure out a way to share the $4.5 billion pie, whenever that may be, then this nightmare will all (for god’s sake hopefully will) finally end.