Thursday, September 1, 2011

NBA lockout thoughts: Stern and Fisher analysis

I follow the news from the NBA lockout once in while and caught two interesting statement's from both the leaders of the players and owners David Stern and Derek Fisher.

 Worried anyone?


"It was a very engaging meeting," said union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers. "We didn't waste a lot of time at all. ... We, kind of as a group, agreed to really continue just focusing on getting the deal done and really try to stay away from the semantics and the verbal jabs, the back-and-forth, and really try to remain focused on the deal points."

We know what we're holding and we know what you're holding.

Neither side would commit Wednesday to a deadline for getting a deal this time that would preserve the entire 2011-12 schedule. Working up to or soon after Labor Day would seem to be vital -- but no one said that, either. "There is clearly enough time," Stern said. "We don't have any deadlines in mind. We just have meetings in mind and discussions in mind." Said Fisher: "We have not tried to set a ... particular date and increase the urgency that's already there. I don't think either side feels that that's needed. There's enough pressure as there is." What's a realistic turnaround time from handshake agreement on a new CBA to NBA basketball in one form or another? "Guys are continuing to work out and train, and prepare themselves for the season to start at any time," Fisher said. "Players are physically and mentally prepared to handle [any] circumstances."

In the first statement Derek Fisher uses the qualifier "kind of" when describing the players and owners as a group. This tells me that the group is fractured. I think it means the players have agreed to focus on getting a deal done(the owners haven't). The owners are willing to wait it out. Put another way, the median NBA owner(15 out 30) is willing to wait longer than the median NBA player. Looking at the second statement Derek Fisher uses an extended contraction "We have not" when talking about whether they have set a deadline for getting a deal done. This tells me that the players have discussed a date where they'll accept a lower offer(while of course they haven't discussed this with owners).

My prediction is the NBA season will start after a few months of lockout with players taking a bad deal because most of them aren't prepared to go a whole season without basketball. Right now the players should think about sending Derek Fisher to acting class because to anyone observant enough Fisher is giving away their position. Right now I feel the NBA owners win this fight.

This could change if the players Union was to focus and pool it's savings  to ensure that it maintains a majority of the players committed to going a whole year without basketball and aggressively pursuing contracts in other leagues(and also making sure Derek Fisher rehearses his public statements).