Tomorrow (October 4th), the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association will be meeting in what will be the most important meeting to date. This is, presumably, the last time the two sides will be able to meet before having to cancel the start of the regular season
Today, the two sides met for five hours before disbanding. The sense from today’s meeting, was that it set the table for tomorrow, and while they are still disagreeing on certain topics, they know how crucial tomorrow’s meeting is.
Currently, the NBA Players’ Association is right where the NBA wants them: about to miss their first paycheck. All along, it has been envisioned that the real negations would not start until the players start missing out on their paychecks. Now that they are in that situation, the Owners expect the players to get impatient and rush to accept a deal that favors the owners.
However, some of the players’ agents (Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, Bill Duffy of BDA Sports, Dan Fegan of Lagardere Unlimited, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, Leon Rose and Henry Thomas of Creative Artists Agency, and Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports and Entertainment) composed a letter to the players urging them to turn down any deal that they would not have previously accepted. Even though six of the most prominent sports agencies are prompting the players to holdout, and decertify, in order to get a favorable deal, the players may actually decide to accept a deal that does not benefit them due to their fear of decertification.
If the NBA Players’ Association was to decertify, this whole matter would be brought to the courts. The main reason the players are hesitant of going to court is because of the speed of the courts. The slow pace of the courts would almost insure the loss of an ENTIRE NBA season.
Also, let’s face it… The agents do not bring home the money – the players do. I don’t believe the players would pass on a paycheck just because their agents told them to.
So, tomorrow should be interesting… Will they come to an agreement? Will the players decertify? Will the beginning of the season be canceled? Will the entire season be canceled?
We don’t know. But tomorrow, we will be one step closer to seeing how the labor negotiations will end.
Oh, by the way… Training camps were supposed to open today. Carmelo Anthony seems to be upset with missing it!