There are two possible meanings of the decertification rumors that have been leaked this week.
- Either the players are getting desperate and therefore have made a desperate ploy to obtain some negotiating leverage
- Or the players are dead serious about giving up a season for 2 percentage points of BRI
I very truly believe that the players are desperate and I do not think decertification is a real option for the players. I say this because there are 450 players currently in the NBA. Most of these players cannot afford, literally, to lose a season. In order for decertification to happen, there must be 30% of the union vote, or 135 players, to approve decertification. That means 4-5 players on each team would need to vote for this and logistically I do not think that is possible. Can you name 4 people on Sacramento, Toronto or Charlotte who would miss a season over 2 points of BRI? I can’t. I think this is all smoking mirrors by the NBPA. If the players were thinking rationally about this lockout they would end it as soon as they can to salvage what they can. Unfortunately, we all know the players have been foolish. As I have continued to say, it is not about what is “fair” because the players will not get a “fair” deal. As my man Stephen A says “a fair is where they judge pigs”. The players will not get a fair deal. That is a fact and I think there is a great number of players who believe this but do not want to be seen as scabs and cross the hypothetical picket fence.
So what will happen on Saturday? I believe this is the time for the players to make a deal. I fear that if nothing good happens today this lockout could damn well go into January. It is a fact that the owners will only worsen their proposal the longer the lockout goes it. It begs the question of how much longer 50/50 will be on the table. I think if no deal is reached this weekend the deal will worsen to 47% and it will only go lower. Now is the time for the players to make a deal. There is no downside to making a deal for them. With a 50/50 split and the projected 4% annual growth of the league, the players will actually make more money then they were before because the pot of BRI is bigger. In year 4 of a 50/50 deal, the players would make 70 million more than they did last season. In year 5, they would make 150 million more. I think Derek Fisher realizes it is now or never which is why he has a rift with hard headed Billy Hunter who knows his job is in jeopardy if he does not get 52% for the players, which he won’t. Overall, Saturday could be a great day for the NBA or it could continue the seamlessly never-ending stretch of dark days that have plagued the league and its fans for the past 4 months.