Atlanta Hawks: ‘It will get worse from there’ Update: Players, owners to meet

(Update 1:20 a.m. Thursday: No deal was reached. The sides are set to meet at noon Thursday. David Stern said “nothing was worked out today” but that owners would not revert to their “reset” offer. Derek Fisher said he couldn’t say “significant process” was made.)

(UPDATE: Players and owners are set to meet at 1 p.m. today, four hours before the league’s deadline. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that David Stern can make a “very slight budge” on the system issues that players say are unacceptable. The union seems ready to accept a 50-50 BRI split, which would more than cover the owners’ claimed losses of $300 million last season.)

As I traveled around the league during the 2010-11 season, I kept hearing that some owners were willing to lose a season in order to get a more favorable CBA. I didn’t believe it, especially since the season ended up being a success. What good would it do owners to get a better CBA if they damaged their popular product in the process?

But now it appears that’s where we’re at. David Stern has issued what amounts to an ultimatum: If the players don’t take the owners’ latest CBA offer (which they’ve already said is unacceptable) by Wednesday, then things get really ugly.

Last night on SportsCenter, Stern said: “We think that there’s a great offer on the table and what we told the players is it’s getting late. The only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal because given what’s going on in our business and our industry, it will get worse from there.” Meanwhile ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that at least 15 owners hope the players reject the current offer because they believe it’s too generous.

There are reports that some players want to vote to authorize a vote on union decertification, setting in place a process that could scuttle the season. (Stern dismissed the consequences of the tactic, saying it didn’t work for NFL players.) Other reports say there is a faction of players that wants to hold a vote on the owners’ offer.

Union team reps are meeting in New York today. (Mo was the Hawks’ player rep until he got traded. Then it was Etan, who is a member of the union’s executive committee. Now the union says it’s Zaza, but he’s in Turkey so Al is in New York as Atlanta’s acting rep.)

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that there’s still a chance the union and Stern could meet before the Wednesday deadline. Kobe says he wants that to happen in order to “save this from spiraling into a nuclear winter.”

Anthony Tolliver, the T-Wolves’ player rep, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda that players are “split” on what to do. He also says there’s an emotional element involved for players:

“As players, we felt like we’ve been taken advantage of. The real reason why guys want to decertify is they felt like the owners really screwed us at the end of the day. I don’t blame them. I feel that, too. At the end of the day, it is what it is. Now we have to decide if this is the best of the worst or if we think we can achieve something better in the courts system.”

Howard Beck of the New York Times has the details on the letter Stern sent to the union outlining both the owners’ latest proposal and what the next proposal would be if the players don’t accept that one by Wednesday. From the players’ perspective, it’s either take the bad offer on the table now or be left with a horrible offer that includes salary rollbacks after that.

In the SC interview, Stern declined to talk about the possibility of canceling the season because he didn’t want to make “empty threats” to players. If the reports about the hardline owners are accurate, then Wednesday’s deadline isn’t an empty threat at all. I never would have believed it would get to this point.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

246 comments Add your comment

Burdell

November 8th, 2011
12:53 pm

Let ‘em sit.

BigDawg

November 8th, 2011
12:59 pm

I agree, no big loss. The owner’s take the risk. Let em sit is the way to go!

Nate the Great

November 8th, 2011
1:00 pm

Let them sit and then the owners and players can have all of nothing. GREEDY SOBs!!!!

I don’t really care one bit about the NBA. NHL and MLS are more interesting to watch anyways.

I also wonder how this will affect recruiting for coaches like Calipari who recruit the one and dones.

dap01

November 8th, 2011
1:00 pm

If we lose a year, does all of the contracts get shorter, meaning if we do not pay this year to JJ, does the contracts merely continue next year or do they lose that year?

Bob Fossil

November 8th, 2011
1:01 pm

NBA basketball = Who gives a rats arse

swatguy

November 8th, 2011
1:01 pm

Players are risking Millions of dollars… in a recession. They seem like spoiled brats that will in fact go to bed hungry and wake up crying. Instead of eating their peas and get ice cream tomorrow. The owners will give them the money back sooner than latter anyways. They always will end up overpaying at contract time.

BigDawg

November 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

Too bad Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins didn’t stay at UGA another year!!

P C

November 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

Hahaha — he doesn’t realize it can’t get any worse for Hawks fans with the owners we have right now! The jokes on him — who cares if they play or not? Let them sit and let ASG go deeper in the hole!

Dre

November 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

I personally won’t miss the NBA until early February when there’s no more NFL. Right now, I really could care less.

JDW

November 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

Yipeeee! I hope they never play again. Time for the replacements

mountain_jim

November 8th, 2011
1:27 pm

I agree with Dre. While the NFL is in progress, I could care less about the NBA.

And the Hawks ownership situation, the terrible trade by Sund of the 2 number 1’s, the contracts he gave to Marvin and JJ, well this Hawks fan of 40 years just does not care anymore.

Bluestreak

November 8th, 2011
1:27 pm

The Curse of Thrash lives on ASG. You foolishly sold off the one product you had that would have performed this year. And now the arena sits, except for a few concerts and the circus in February. Those 41 automatic dates on the calendar should would have looked nice now, huh guys? Ah, the Peggers needed it more than us anyway, right? From 82 to 41 to 0. Remind me not to let you guys do my retirement planning.

Unfortunately, it also means that those that work at the arena are getting screwed. I do feel for them. This is completely out of their control.

Fridawg

November 8th, 2011
1:33 pm

The NBA is the worst of the pro sports leagues. This is what we need. Drop the bomb owners… please! Maybe basketball would eventually rebound with a new attitude. March Madness is really the only interesting b-ball anymore.

tp

November 8th, 2011
1:47 pm

Well, Hawks ownership may be messed up, but at least the Hawks players have maintained a level of consistency when it comes to Players Union representation … NOT!

Perhaps the players should form another group: The Atlanta Hawks Players Spirit Group. I can definitely envision an inter-office competition over which Spirit Group will dissolve first – with the winners getting $100 gift cards to La Pizza Loca.

Fred-D

November 8th, 2011
1:47 pm

I sure wish someone could have convinced Leslie & Thompkins to stay in school if for no other reason than the strong chance of an NBA work stoppage. If they were still in school, they would at least would have still been under scholarship and likely increased their draft status. Whoever convinced these kids that they were 1st round material (they weren’t) and the NBA would have a full season really led these kids down a rocky path.

Section 303

November 8th, 2011
1:49 pm

Take this for what it’s worth….I listened to Stephen A. Smith’s podcast interview with David Stern on my way to work this morning. The interview took place last night. Stephen A predicts that the players will accept the owners deal by Wednesday and we will have a season.

I hope he’s right. Stephen A. was the first guy I heard predict that the 3 d-bags (Wade, James, Bosh) were going to join forces and become the biggest collection of d-bags the world has ever seen, weeks prior to the James “Decision”. So, he has a decent track record.

JRHD

November 8th, 2011
1:50 pm

My opinion is the owners should stick to their guns and not even offer the 50/50 split. The players don’t have to worry if their individual teams lose money (ATL, OK, Det, NO) b/c they still get their salaries. What a deal that is; your company isn’t making money and you still get your fat paycheck. When your companies execs try to make your company solvent you whine b/c it is affecting your paycheck even though your bloated salary is one of the contributing factors to the insolvency of your company.

Banshee29

November 8th, 2011
2:14 pm

The only D Bag I know is Stephen A Smith. Who gives a f*&k about what he thinks?

jlewis

November 8th, 2011
2:15 pm

Why does everyone on here count JJ’s money? I didnt see anyone trying to give him more when he was playing 45-48 minutes a game, chasing two guards and point guards. You should be screaming about whatever Schultz makes for the crappy columns. The system is what it is, the market will determine what the players get paid and the owners make, if you want to see a decline in salary and profit, don’t go to the games or turn on the television. The system will correct itself, the simplest thing would be to make an adjustment every two years, based on team Audited Financial Statements from a neutral third party and limit contracts to two years. Most of the players you want to get rid of after two years anyway. Also, institute a hard salary cap and salary based on years of service, so bidding wont get out of hand.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2011
2:28 pm

I think the players will cave in the next 36 hours. If there are unhappy parties on both sides of the agreement, then you know that you have reached a very good agreement.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2011
2:30 pm

It is kind of appropriate that the Hawks player rep is about as clear as Hawks ownership situation.

Grandad

November 8th, 2011
2:55 pm

Michael Jordan + Kobe Bryant want the current deal now !
It will get done.
Michael vs the players + Kobe leading the players …
the deal will be signed.
Think about it … Michael & Kobe … they win.
Deal done.
The decertification is being orchestrated by the agents.
They don’t have to worry about their next paycheck.
The agent’s 10+ % is in the barn.
The rank and file is being canvassed by Steve Blake;
and Blake wants to sign the deal.
Kobe / Blake / Fisher = Lakers = teammates
Fisher + Stern = hmmmmmmmm (bedfellows)
Deal should go down before midnight.
-G-dad the conspiracy theorist-

bart

November 8th, 2011
3:08 pm

The only people concerned about the season are the players & owners – the rest of the population really doesn’t care. As long as wrestling is televised then the handful of NBA fans will still have a comparable entertainment to watch.

rm

November 8th, 2011
3:14 pm

The players think the owners are taking advantage of them?!?! If playing a childs game for millions is being taken advantage of sign me up! Its not like the owners are paying them 100k per year and stuffing the rest under their mattress. That is a perfect example of an enabled mentality.

dap01

November 8th, 2011
3:20 pm

I hope every one of the spoiled union brats go broke. Who cares? Every contract will be honored, why are the players complaining.

Could any of them make $5,000,000 (average) outside of basketball? No, get a tatoo and go broke!

Tech '10

November 8th, 2011
3:23 pm

I wish I could complain about making between hundreds of thousands and a few millions dollars a year…

Dave

November 8th, 2011
3:27 pm

RIGHT ON, DAP… these guys would be past useless, in the REAL WORLD……..

oldfart

November 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

“…it will get worse from there.”

oldfart

November 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

“…it will get worse from there.”

oldfart

November 8th, 2011
3:33 pm

Sorry, thumb hit the touchpad twice. To continue.

To make it worse for the stars he should threaten to have travelling called in the future whether the star has “established” that move or not.

ChillyMutt

November 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

The players are delusional and misguided. Cut them all loose. Start anew next year with younger and hungrier players.Maybe a fan could witness really competition then. Maybe a fan could afford a ticket.

Apothetic in Atlanta

November 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

I heard that the NBA isn’t playing right now as they usually would be at this time of year. Really? Who knew? Has anyone really missed it?

Kurtis

November 8th, 2011
3:51 pm

If it weren’t for the NBA, the United States would have the worlds tallest garbage men.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2011
3:57 pm

Regardless of the salaries in play, most unions don’t go from 57% of revenue in the previous contract to 50% in the new one. That is a considerable step backwards and something that doesn’t happen without intense and prolonged negotiations. Once one side of a labor agreement takes a big step backwards, they may find themselves on a slippery slope for many future negotiations. The issue is about how far from the previous agreement the players are willing to go. My guess is that those who are willing to take a full 7 bases points less are either at the end of their career or are just trying to get in. Those in the middle probably want to hold the line for fear that things will get even worse during the next CBA. I don’t easily dismiss the issues represented by each side as this drives more than just what a single owner or player makes next year.

Section 303

November 8th, 2011
4:01 pm

Banshee29, that could be why I suggested taking that for what it’s worth. Which to you is not much, I guess.

truth

November 8th, 2011
4:03 pm

The owners need to contracts non guaranteed.. only then will you see players give 100% effort

Dana Blankenhorn

November 8th, 2011
4:04 pm

47% of what? 51% of what? That should be the question. How do you grow the business so that most clubs make money? Obviously those clubs that do make money won’t share with those who don’t. They won’t share revenue as is done in other leagues, so most of the clubs are going under.

Ask that question — how do we all make money — answer that question, and everything else goes away. Since owners aren’t asking and answering that question, I think the blame is on them and on David Stern, their employee. They want 53% of nothing. They’re going to get 100% of nothing, and some clubs are going to go under. Some owners are going to lose their whole investment.

That’s bad business.

Ray

November 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

Been a while since I posted if this would have happened in the 90’s maybe everyone would care, but in these times not a single person gives a rat’s a$$.

Honestly I’m like a lot of others as long as NFL and CFB are on the tube/in season I don’t care about NBA it takes a backseat until at least late January to be honest.

As for staying on topic the players better just take the deal or else they’ll be in for a long haul. Also if we get rid of anyone I say let it be JJ and Marvin. Find a way to get us JC2 back forget Jamal lol.

doc

November 8th, 2011
4:15 pm

heh heh at aj. so true muddied waters.

hate it but i would be fine to cancel the season at this point. still feel for all the folks yhat actually work for a living affected by this. tragic for them.

Mr Big

November 8th, 2011
4:24 pm

As much as it pains me to say it the players need to swallow their pride and take the owners offer if they cant get any minor tweeks between now and the COB on Wednesday. It is too much of a gamble to blow this season, decertify and take their chances in court. What’s to say that the court wont rule in favor of the owners? Also they will not be able to recover missing 1 year off of their careers. Take this deal and assuming the economy has corrected itself by the end of this CBA shoot for a better deal.

Dr Fever

November 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

Said it before, will say it again….the pro teams do not get my entertainment dollar. Once upon a time, but not in the last 15 years. Especially the NBA where they have no rules. Last saw the Hawks at Ga Tech when Philips was being built. A friend bought that ticket for me. YOU can pay the millionaires, not me.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:33 pm

Mr Big, I agree with you. If I were the players, I would demand an opt-out in 3 years. If the economy is still bad, you stay in the contract but if it appears better, then you trash the contract and start all over.

Yes doc, the ones who are truly suffering are the non-NBA employees who need the games to be played to earn an honest living. And like them, I don’t too much care who wins or loses, I just want the games to start. At this point, the Hawks won’t see any immediate advantage regardless of the outcome.

dixiedemons

November 8th, 2011
4:37 pm

The players will have to cave……..They owe too much in child support payments and don’t want to fall behind and go to jail….

drmaryb.(*_*).

November 8th, 2011
4:41 pm

Timing!

The times stamped on all these posts are an hour ahead of real time! Wassup AJC? Didn’t you roll your blog time back an hour?

Gee-zus! Get it right when it counts. LOL!
_____________

Aye NBA! Play Ball … We don’t care about your problems!

A wise man once told me:
“80% of the world doesn’t care about your problems, and the other 20% are glad.”

SirReal

November 8th, 2011
4:48 pm

I think this is all stupid. Stern is rich and evil. The players are rich and spoiled. We the people are trying to get by everyday and here they are clamoring about what else? Money. Big surprise there. I think Stern is a bully and its funny how no one talks about how he was asked to disclose his salary and wouldnt do so. Lets be honest, he’s probably the worst comissioner in pro sports (except maybe Selig). NBA has dramatically fallen off in the last 10-15 years. It no longer excites people as it once did.
I have to agree with Astro Joe about the employees who are suffering bc of their garbage. I have close friends that are dealing with this now and are already feeling the effects of not being able to work. Its really sad bc just like the NFL lockout that happened, the only true victims are the fans and those who count on games to make a living.

doc

November 8th, 2011
4:49 pm

if the basg god forbid want to stay around as owners the. the owners really are posturing and playing us all as fools aboit how much money they dont make. let them open thleir books ans show the world that it really is a cash cow that gets bigger. we all know what players make and that means tuey cant really play the hardship line, folks there are 15 billionaires as owners wanting to extract more from you and ke along with the players. sadly the players lose the pr game becausecso many of us pretend we could he just as good if we only had the size and talemt all the while forgetting the pain of their work and effort to get there. envy is just as nasty a habit as greed.

Bobby Lee Lane

November 8th, 2011
4:52 pm

NBA players are greedy spoiled brats.They already make too much money.I’m to the point where,I don’t even care anymore.Let them sit.As far as the Hawks,this ownership group is awful.They should be forced to sell the team.

Occupy AJC Blogs?

November 8th, 2011
5:30 pm

Why do some bloggers continue to state that every professional sport except basketball is ok? How many strikes has MLB had in the past 30 years? NFL? NHL? Why are those labor disputes given a pass but not the NBA? Not sure where the anti-NBA sentiment comes from when the financial game is all the same.

The NHL has cities losing teams. MLB has teams in the 2 largest markets who can barely make payroll. The NFL just finished a lockout this calendar year.

Some of you just don’t make any sense and complain just to complain. If the NBA means so little to you then why are you replying to this blog to let us know that you “could care less”?

I sure hope you all went out and voted today with that passion!

newkid

November 8th, 2011
5:35 pm

Will JOrdan’s antics during the lockout result in high profile NBA players – and perhaps other sports where players are members of unions – bolting his Jordan Brand? Should he consider that potential impact in setting his negotiating strategy in this dispute with the union?

Rufus1

November 8th, 2011
5:38 pm

They will take it next year……

If they don’t take 50% this year, they will surely take 45% and contract rollbacks next year. You don’t get many chances to make 1mil in a year, so they definately won’t miss out 2 straight years.

JJ could lose 50mil if they cut 2 years off max players contracts……SIGN THE DEAL!