By Jan Hubbard
Although records for this sort of enterprise are not kept, it seems safe to suggest the two sides in the NBA labor negotiations have received unprecedented help in trying to resolve the impasse.
The pack of news people who have had the tedious duty of documenting the skirmish in New York over billions of dollars have listened carefully to both sides, recorded the concerns of each and offered logical solutions.
Judge Judy and Dr. Phil combined couldn’t have done better.
Perhaps that sort of precise reporting on dividing revenue has occurred on a small scale in the past, but not to this extent. Once ownership set the amount of its losses at $300 million, and when both sides shared percentages of what they wanted out of negotiations, diligent reporters went to their iPhones, pressed the calculator app and did the numbers. It wasn’t that difficult. Presumably they all passed math in grade school.
As the percentages each side said were required for a deal haven gotten closer and closer, writers covering negotiations have been more and more dumbfounded that a middle point could not be found. By not playing basketball games in the preseason and now cancelling the first two weeks of the regular season, each side has sacrificed more than it would lose with the other side’s deal. So why not compromise?
And therein lies the problem – the assumption that logic applies; the belief that it is common sense to believe both sides to have common sense.
That has been incorrect, which leads to an obvious conclusion. This financial contest is not about dividing revenues fairly.
It’s about winning.
It’s about owners – who, by the way, include Michael Jordan – pulling a Michael Jordan and imposing their will on the opponents.