Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks 113, Heat 111

Editor’s Note: This didn’t happen… But it could’ve.

 

Down a point and team depleted to within an amnesty clause of bench’s end, Mike D’Antoni swallowed his pride, and with one begrudging summon, made a move that would prove prophetic. Prophetic and basically necessary.

“Look, I put [Renaldo] Balkman in for his defense and his arms, and the fact that the next guy down from him was a pile of towels,” said D’Antoni of the seldom-used forward, who would soon after hit an impossible corner three to give the Knicks a 113-111 victory over Miami Wednesday night. “I sure as $#!% didn’t expect him to shoot that. If I’d known that, I might’ve rolled with four. Norman Dale style.”

Lucky for D’Antoni and his troops – not to mention the frantic capacity Garden crowd soon uncorked– the man they call “Humpty” made sure his Knicks “had five on it.”

“That was pretty sick, wasn’t it?” the dreadlocked Balkman – re-arrived last February in the Carmelo Anthony trade –chuckled to the throngs of reporters flocked locker-side. “That right there was the $#!%.”

Never mind that the Knicks had both Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire on the floor.

Never mind that Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire had accounted for a combined 73 points.

Never mind that the play was designed for Chauncey Billups (16 points, 7 assists) to get the ball at the top of the key, off a screen that Balkman never bothered to set.

Never mind that, having received the inbound pass from Landry Fields as the last option, Balkman was supposed to swing it immediately back to Billups to run the set.

Instead, Balkman caught the pass – a split second before Fields, devoid of timeouts, would’ve been whistled for a five-second call – took no less than four, completely uncontested dribbles and, with Udonis Haslem standing confused on the low block, hoisted a totally unnecessary corner triple that left the net’s bottom hanging over the rim.

“I was open, and the one thing Coach always tells us is, if you’re open, shoot,” said Balkman of the rogue dagger. “So I really owe this one to Coach.”

With no timeouts  and only a tenth of a second remaining, the Heat could muster little more than a late 80-foot LeBron James heave. Which went in, oddly enough.

It’s the first time since the 1999-2000 season – 12 years – twelve years – TWELVE YEARS – that the Bockers have started their campaign with two straight wins.

After squandering a 17-point fourth quarter lead, the tired Bockers  – clear victims of a lockout-shortened training camp – were forced to draw deep from an already arid bench.

“There was definitely a few guys dry heaving into Gatorade cups out there,” said rookie Josh Harrelson, himself the recipient of a shocking 20 minutes off the  pine in place of a foul troubled Ronny Turiaf. “At lunch I was telling Jerome [Jordan] to ease off the milk, but he kept sayin’ there was no way we were gonna’ play, so what did it matter?”

Three Knicks — Derrick Brown, Shawne Williams, and Bill Walker — sustained what appeared, at first, to be pulled hamstrings. They were cramps. None returned. All are listed as day-to-day.

Despite all that, the Knicks added to the good vibes of Sunday’s season-opening thrashing of the Nets – an equally weird night highlighted by Net forward and recent Kardashian cast-off Kris Humphries openly weeping during player introductions.

Anthony, who paced the Knicks with 41 points on 14-35 shooting, to go along with seven boards, said his team would take the Ws regardless.

“Man, I thought I’d seen it all with Humphries cryin’ like that, joggin’ to center court and just huggin’ Lopez,” said Anthony. “But then Balkman hit that shot, I just couldn’t believe it. To be honest, I thought it was some fan for a second, wearin’ a Balkman jersey. I thought, ‘where’d he get a Balkman jersey?’ Then I remembered he came over in the trade.”

Asked why Balkman hadn’t swung the ball back to Billups, as D’Antoni had illustrated, Anthony was incredulous.

“He probably didn’t even hear him, man,” he said.

Anthony was nearly as valuable on the defensive end, where he managed to keep LeBron James largely in check, holding the two-time MVP to 21 points on 8-22 shooting.

“Defense is just a matter of heart and determination,” said Anthony of his impressive two-way effort. “Basically I just stood there in the lane and dared him to shoot.”

Flanking Anthony in equivalent dominance, Amar’e Stoudemire clowned Chris Bosh inside and out en route to a 32 point, 10 rebound  performance.

“We came out with a lot of energy, a lot of intensity, and a lot of focus,” said Stoudemire, fully healed from last season’s protracted back issues. “I’ve always said, I’m like Moses leading the franchise to the promised land, and Melo’s my David — my slinger. We showed that tonight. Energy.”

Chris Bosh led the Heat with 35 points and 15 rebounds.

Landry fields chipped in 16 and nine rebounds for the Knicks, while Toney Douglas and Turiaf each tallied 14. All three of them continue to grow interesting beards.

Meanwhile, rookie Iman Shumpert impressed in his Garden debut, logging 15 minutes and scoring 12 points – all of them two-handed dunks on Mike Bibby.

But it was Renaldo Balkman, the former South Carolina Gamecock and member of the Puerto Rican National Team, who would convert the most decibel-rising shot of the night, and his career.

And so it was that a night which began with a christening of the newly-renovated Garden — headlined by James Dolan’s JD and the Straight Shot’s 15-minute rendition of Jefferson Starship classic “We Built This City” — ended with a shot that would test the sturdiness of roof and rafter.

“I’ll remember that one for a long time, man,” said Balkman as he searched frantically his car keys.”It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you’re in the right situation.”

Finally, Balkman found his keys, which he keeps in a technicolor, wallet-size pouch.

“Now it’s time to celebrate. Any of y’all have a plastic water bottle you don’t want?”

The Knicks will play the Bucks in Milwaukee on Saturday.

65 comments on “Knicks 113, Heat 111

  1. misterma

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Also I started reading “When the Garden Was Eden.” Thanks for the recommendation, Knickerblogger.

  2. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    Glad you threw Shumpert in there. I know almost every video we’ve seen involves him wide open and / or abusing a folding chair, but I personally think he’s an All-Rookie lock this year.

    On a separate note: Ricky Rubio, Robert?

  3. Robert Silverman

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    Glad you threw Shumpert in there. I know almost every video we’ve seen involves him wide open and / or abusing a folding chair, but I personally think he’s an All-Rookie lock this year.

    On a separate note: Ricky Rubio, Robert?

    Luckily, rumor has it that the Miami Heat are considering a starting a folding chair at PG this year. He can’t be much worse on D than Bibby.

    And yes, Ricky Motherfluffing Rubio, Jim! I realize it’s a bit out there, but once I loves me a player, I cling to my faith that he’s gonna be a beast like a starving man to a can of Spam or a Kardashian to the attention of the paparazzi.

    For example, I still think Michael Sweetney is going to be a 20-10 guy and John Wallace an all-star scoring SF someday. Yeah, they’re both out of the league, but if only someone would give them the pt, they’d be awesome. AWESOME I SAY!

    Rubio = great. Don’t try to sway me with facts or logic. I ain’t havin’ it.

  4. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    I just don’t see it. The guy can’t shoot! He makes Derek Rose and Russell Westbrook look like Mark Price at the same age! Every team will give him anything outside of 15 feet, effectively neutralizing his penetrating ability. For the sake of the game — and accepting his potential for what it is — I hope I’m wrong. But in this case, the number’s don’t lie, particularly in the context of an inferior league.

  5. Robert Silverman

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    I just don’t see it. The guy can’t shoot! He makes Derek Rose and Russell Westbrook look like Mark Price at the same age! Every team will give him anything outside of 15 feet, effectively neutralizing his penetrating ability. For the sake of the game — and accepting his potential for what it is — I hope I’m wrong. But in this case, the number’s don’t lie, particularly in the context of an inferior league.

    I remember hearing about another PG with great floor vision/passing skills who couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean. What was his name? Shmason Shmidd or something….

    I think he was pretty durned good.

  6. BigBlueAL

    From alot that Ive read Baron Davis could be the Heat’s starting PG this season once he is cut from Cleveland. Great fit lol

  7. Robert Silverman

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    I just don’t see it. The guy can’t shoot! He makes Derek Rose and Russell Westbrook look like Mark Price at the same age! Every team will give him anything outside of 15 feet, effectively neutralizing his penetrating ability. For the sake of the game — and accepting his potential for what it is — I hope I’m wrong. But in this case, the number’s don’t lie, particularly in the context of an inferior league.

    Or what about Rajon Rondo for that matter. He’s left alone from 15 feet and STILL kills the Knicks

  8. d-mar

    I don’t know, Robert, Kidd and Rondo are kind of once (or twice) in a generation freaks, IMO. Kidd may be the best rebounding PG ever, and Rondo grabs a ton of boards also for a slight little dude. Just not sure if Rubio could fit in the mold of those two.

    On another note, the 2 sides are supposed to meet again on Sat. I think if they come out of this one calling each other names, that might be the death knell for this season.

    Robert Silverman: Or what about Rajon Rondo for that matter. He’s left alone from 15 feet and STILL kills the Knicks

  9. Robert Silverman

    d-mar:
    I don’t know, Robert, Kidd and Rondo are kind of once (or twice) in a generation freaks, IMO. Kidd may be the best rebounding PG ever, and Rondo grabs a ton of boards also for a slight little dude. Just not sure if Rubio could fit in the mold of those two.

    I hear you. Like I said, my admiration for Rubio is purely emotional and no logical/coherent argument can sway me.

  10. Frank

    call me crazy but should knicks fans with a long-term view be hoping that they cancel the season? we are definitely not winning a championship this year, and if SI.com can be believed, cancellation of the season could mean that we actually would get a draft pick back for this awesome 2012 draft, maybe even have a chance at the #1 pick. We let Chauncey go, sign CP3 or DH12 as a free agent, get lucky with a high #1 pick, and here we go…

  11. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    Frank:
    call me crazy but should knicks fans with a long-term view be hoping that they cancel the season? we are definitely not winning a championship this year, and if SI.com can be believed, cancellation of the season could mean that we actually would get a draft pick back for this awesome 2012 draft, maybe even have a chance at the #1 pick. We let Chauncey go, sign CP3 or DH12 as a free agent, get lucky with a high #1 pick, and here we go…

    That’s a hell of a silver lining on a hell of a dark cloud.

    Even if we end up with 50 games, I still think that bodes better for us than most teams. That was right around the time last year where Stat really started to fall statistically. Obviously a lot of that can be attributed to the trade, but Stoudemire more than most really seemed to hit a wall.

  12. max fisher-cohen

    First, I want to say awesome and funny article, Jim. I think someone needs to make a mockumentary about Renaldo Balkman’s life.

    @Frank: The major loss if the season were to be cancelled is that we would lose the value of Chauncey Billups’ expiring contract. We’d have to pay or trade Fields and hope that the new CBA allowed enough money to make the 3 star dream come true.

    I do love how it has taken up until this point for the major sportswriters (and the players) to get on the decertification bandwagon.

    I find the double standard applied to the situations of the union/league pretty appalling. For the players, every article is about how the union will lower its demands the more money they lose. This is likely true. What’s ridiculous is the notion that the owners, who are in precisely the same situation, would have the reverse reaction and would shift their offer even more in their own favor.

    Just as the lost money puts pressure on the union, it puts pressure on the league. The bigger market owners are absolutely not happy about the gobs of cash they are losing. The more games that are lost, the more pressure they will put on the league to get a deal done. Some of those teams that got a little creative with their accounting so as to appear to be in the red may also start to reevaluate the situation, especially if the union sets the decertification process in motion.

    I see at as a big game of chicken. By beginning the process of decertification, the players have superglued the accelerator to the floor. The owners can either go up in flames with the players or they can swerve out of the way.

  13. Robert Silverman

    Frank:
    call me crazy but should knicks fans with a long-term view be hoping that they cancel the season? we are definitely not winning a championship this year, and if SI.com can be believed, cancellation of the season could mean that we actually would get a draft pick back for this awesome 2012 draft, maybe even have a chance at the #1 pick. We let Chauncey go, sign CP3 or DH12 as a free agent, get lucky with a high #1 pick, and here we go…

    And then we can ask Mike K. to start a spin-off Erie Bayhawks blog, called, “FifteenmilesontheErieCanal.net”

  14. Z-man

    Good link to an article about Jorts on P&T. I wonder if he can model himself after one of my most reviled opponents over the years, Bill Laimbeer. While I’m not suggesting that he will ever attain that status, Laimbeer was similarly unheralded coming out of college (drafted #65) and blossomed in the NBA by doing all the things Jorts is talking about and just getting better and better on a team with a number of all-stars. I really hope he is going to be a pleasant surprise and an inspirational kind of guy in practice and maybe in games, if there ever are any. Plus, the guy can shoot the open J better than people realize.

  15. JosephNYSportsfan

    I would have paid the ridiculous prices for league pass to have seen this game. I liked the glimpse into Shumpert’s early season success and Landry Fields’ beard, but I was wondering how Andy Rautins did after getting some coaching from Boeheim and his dad back in ‘Cuse while living at home during the lockout. 9 pts on 3-5 from downtown I’m guessing.

  16. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Great recap!

    Am I the only one glued to Twitter as the NBA scribes are all starting to talk about how something big might be happening soon? For the last 15 minutes or so, Twitter has been abuzz.

  17. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Crap, apparently no deal reached tonight. They’re meeting again tomorrow, right? Right?

  18. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yeah, man, such BS. It’s essentially a hard cap. Tax-paying teams can’t do sign and trades and can only offer “mini-mid-levels” of $5 million two year contracts.

    After all that discussion about system being resolved, their current offer is basically back to square one.

    The thing is, unlike a 50/50 BRI split with the system mostly staying the same, I don’t see how the players can accept this. This is not a “well, we can live with it” offer like 50/50. I don’t see how they can live with a hard cap system.

    EDITED TO ADD: I am confused. When they say Stern offered 49/51, what does that mean? The owners at 49 or the players?

  19. BigBlueAL

    Its supposedly a band where depending on the league profits the players can make 51% but if not I think it is basically 50/50.

    Stern is smart though because he basically said this deal is based on Cohen’s proposal and making it seem like the owners are compromising. Fact is if this deal isnt accepted and the owners go back to a 47/53 proposal it is really over.

  20. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    The annoying thing is what the economists said in the Grantland piece. From the perspective of a current NBA player, it makes no sense not to take this deal. The problems that come about due to it are problems that will affect future players, but in the mean time, while you are standing up for the rights of future players (which might also include you), you’re definitely losing money now that you’ll never get back.

    Also, I obviously misspoke earlier about the hard cap thing. Sorry – just a knee jerk reaction to an annoying offer by the owners. If they still allow Bird Rights, then obviously it is not even an effectual hard cap. Still, it makes it extremely difficult for teams over the cap to add good players and teams over the cap are the only teams who typically want to pay guys like Al Harrington the mid-level, so the loss of that option is extremely significant (and obviously the sign and trade thing is an issue – but not as big of one).

  21. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yeah, the fact that no one can just write a freakin’ solid explanation of what happened is annoying as heck.

    How does none of the major sites have a piece up on this yet?

  22. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I guess the info really is confusing. Henry Abbott just noted he was confused by the current offer. I wish someone would just be able to parse the thing!

  23. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Just the owners’ offer alone, though, is important news, right?

    Just post that and then update the article with the players’ comments.

  24. BigBlueAL

    The NBAPA needs to just not bother doing press conferences anymore. Stern as a public speaker is alot better than Hunter and Fisher lol

  25. BigBlueAL

    Tonight mightve been the last straw for me. Any hope I had of a season I think Ive totally lost tonight.

    Fuck the owners and the players.

  26. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    If the players ever had a chance at 50/50 with the system described in most reports the last few weeks (which was concessions to the owners across the board, but still essentially just a reduced form of the current system), then yeah, fair enough, screw the players.

    But if no deal as good as that was ever on the table, I don’t think you can blame the players for not making a deal.

  27. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Great (and sadly accurate) tweet from Bucher:

    NBA Players appear to be standing at the corner of Fleeced Avenue and Blow-it-Up Boulevard. With a No U-Turn sign staring them in the face.

  28. BigBlueAL

    Yes I can, Im a poor ass fan who gladly pays for NBA League Pass every year and have no problem with them making whatever they can make.

    But lets be real, most articles Ive read from economists and stuff analyzing this stuff says the players should just take the deal. You think Im gonna feel sorry for the players?? Not to mention there are plenty of players who would gladly take this deal in a heartbeat.

    Fact is the players are the employees and the owners are the employers. But as I said above shit I could care less about the owners too but lets face it they won and will win with whatever deal is reached. Players have to face that reality and accept the deal now unless they want to suffer the same fate as the NHL players.

    Sorry about being bitter, Im not part of a union and so I obviously cant really relate to all this stuff. Im just a frustrated fan who sides with the scrub players who want to accept any deal and just get the season started lol

  29. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Okay, so I see the problem (in why it took so long to write it up). Stern was pretty evasive about what the BRI offer was. Apparently it opens up at 49 and could get up to 51 under certain conditions.

    So, essentially, it is most likely 50/50, but not even opening at that. How the hell do you go from 50/50 to “well, let’s start at 49 and under dream circumstances you could get 51. And since we gave you that concession, you have to give up a bunch of drastic changes to the system”?

  30. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    But lets be real, most articles Ive read from economists and stuff analyzing this stuff says the players should just take the deal.

    No, the economists said that the players should take the 50/50 split when the system was basically the same (just worse) under the theory of, “Yeah the split is not fair, but at least the system wasn’t drastically changed, so just suck it up and take the 50.”

    But here, we’re talking the 50/50 (possibly not even 50/50!) and drastic (negative) changes to the system.

    I do not believe the economists would support this deal for the players.

    EDITED TO ADD: Fisher basically said that the players’ offer was the one the economists would have supported, only with the BRI closer to 51%. I bet he (and the union) ultimately would take the “50/50 split/system stays mostly the same” deal. It just never was on the table. I think a call for a decertification vote is probably the only reply to the NBA’s offer. There is hope that just calling for the vote will force the NBA to soften their BS offer and then the union won’t actually have to vote on the decertification. In that case, we could possibly have games before Christmas (which is better than the current scenario, as I don’t see a season as likely under the current BS ultimatum).

  31. BigBlueAL

    Well Im tired and need to go to bed soon since I have to wake up early Sunday to do something most of the NBA players arent doing, work (granted its just to umpire a 13-14 yo baseball game lol).

    Have a good night Brian and lets just hope that some day soon we can start talking about actual games again.

  32. max fisher-cohen

    Sometimes, when I’m desperate for change for a parking meter, I’ll walk into a store and offer a dollar for 3 quarters. I feel like if I went into a store where david stern worked right now, he’d see the desperation in my eyes, and he’d smile and shake his head: “I saw the meter maid just around the corner… A quarter is all you’re getting, Max. Sorry!”

  33. Z-man

    BigBlueAL: P>Fact is the players are the employees and the owners are the employers. But as I said above shit I could care less about the owners too but lets face it they won and will win with whatever deal is reached. Players have to face that reality and accept the deal now unless they want to suffer the same fate as the NHL players.Sorry about being bitter, Im not part of a union and so I obviously cant really relate to all this stuff. Im just a frustrated fan who sides with the scrub players who want to accept any deal and just get the season started lol

    Actually, the players are not really employees per se, they are the product…there is no NBA basketball (at NBA ticket prices) without NBA players.

    I was optimistic until I read the reports this morning. Now, not so much… Finally we have a team worth watching and then this shit happens.

  34. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    You know who is the worst in all of this? Jordan. The guy was super-duper pro-player as a player and is now super-duper anti-player as an owner. And not only that, but because he knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, while he is vocal behind the scenes, he never actually says anything in the negotiations. Why haven’t players been more vocal about that? Tarnishing Jordan’s reputation would be a good strategy, I think, since his rep is so valuable to him.

  35. Frank

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    You know who is the worst in all of this? Jordan. The guy was super-duper pro-player as a player and is now super-duper anti-player as an owner. And not only that, but because he knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, while he is vocal behind the scenes, he never actually says anything in the negotiations. Why haven’t players been more vocal about that? Tarnishing Jordan’s reputation would be a good strategy, I think, since his rep is so valuable to him.

    As a huge (and begrudging) Jordan fan, this seems totally in line with expectations. Jordan wants to win, and not just win, but crush his opposition. His level of competitiveness was celebrated at the player level and is looked on by everyone as hypocritical at the owner level, but it’s not really a surprise to me. Will be interesting to see whether players are as eager to sign onto the Jordan brand for endorsements after this.

    Howard Beck has the details of the NBA’s supposed “best” offer as well as the “or else” option:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/sports/basketball/nba-in-letter-to-union-stern-details-his-ultimatum.html?pagewanted=all

    Not really knowing the nitty gritty of the economics, I can’t really say if that’s the best the players can do. I wonder how much of this is the “hardline” owners wanting to stack the deck against Miami as much as possible after the player-owner power dynamic was turned completely on its head during the whole LBJ/Wade/Bosh etc. courtship process.

  36. Frank

    To expand on my last post – Miami is already committed to be over the salary cap the next 4 years regardless of whether or not they dump Mike Miller via amnesty (the only way they could get under is by dumping one of the big 3 ie. not happening). With cap holds they will be right up against the luxury tax (especially if that tax threshold drops after year 2 which seems quite likely) – so MIA may only have 1/2 the amount of $ to pay free agents with MLE as non taxpaying teams and can only use that every other year. Ouch.

  37. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I get the “winning no matter what no matter who my ‘team’ is” thing, Frank, but what I think sets this apart is that Jordan followed up all his dramatic rhetoric by then choosing to not say anything to any of the players’ faces. That’s what I think pushes this over the edge. Not only has the guy done a complete 180 from his previous positions (where he famously/infamously told the Washington owner that it was his fault that his team couldn’t turn a profit – that the two ended up working together later is still pretty amusing) but he won’t even talk about it publicly, because he knows it is ridiculous to switch sides this dramatically. Jordan shying away from a conflict is so…un-Jordan-like, ya know?

  38. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    And thanks for the Beck link. Man, Beck is awesome. Anyhow, yeah, as the union knows quite clearly, the current owners’ proposal is, while not a hard cap by any means (since teams could still re-sign their own free agents as much as they’d like, so long as they’re willing to pay the penalty, and most rich teams would) it essentially gives a gigantic disincentive to good teams to add players. It ruins Miami’s future plans. It ruins the Lakers’ future plans. It ruins Dallas’ future plans. It ruins the Nets’ future plans. It ruins the Bulls’ future plans. It ruins the Magic’s future plans. It ruins the Celtics’ future plans. And, of course, most importantly to us, it ruins the Knicks’ future plans.

    And the players really do need these types of teams to be involved to keep their salaries high. If they had a 50/50 split with the system staying the same, Steve Blake could still sign a three or a four-year deal for $5 million a year (with small raises in years 2, 3 and 4). He will have to give up 10% of that an allocation in case the players make more than 50% of the league revenue, but there is a decent chance that by year three/year four, he will get that 10% back. However, if there is a system change, Blake will still have that 10% taken out of his salary (he will just be much more likely to get it back) but he will only be able to sign a two-year deal for $5 million total!! Because no one but a team over the cap was going to give Steve Blake $5 million a year. He is a guy you plug into a good team, not someone you feature on a mediocre one.

    Therefore, there is no doubt that these requests by the NBA will cost players far more money than simply adjusting their split from 52.5 to 50, which is why I believe the players would ultimately ratify a 50/50 split if they could just get the league to agree to mostly keep the system where it is.

  39. Jafa

    I disagree with most on this board about these negotiations.

    The fact that Stern and the owners have sent the players an ultimatum threatening to go back to some of their hardline stances at the beginning of the negotiations shows they are playing with a weak hand. Simply put, they are bluffing.

    If the players call their bluff (like it seems they are doing) and say no deal, this thing could unravel quickly. Big market (and big money) owners to whom the revenue from their NBA team makes up a small (less than 10%) part of their overall income and wealth will start pushing the envelope and taking back control of the negotiations from the owners side from small market (and small money) owners.

    These wealthy owners, like the Russian that own the Nets, enjoy the perks of owning an NBA team more than they rely on the revenue stream. That luxury item (like a custom made car they can show off to their peers) is being taken away over a small difference in revenue to them (a few millions).

    You think Mark Cuban, who enjoys owning an NBA franchise and just won a championship, is going to let a season be cancelled when his team, which is up there in age, has a small window to repeat as champions before he has to rebuild the ship from scratch? Think about the Lakers owner and his currently declining asset (Kobe), the Heat owner and his eagerness to win after losing, the Celtics owner and his soon-to-be over the hill good players and the Knicks owner who doesn’t get to show off his shinny new collections.

    I’ll stop now because I’m getting long winded (too late) but this thing will be resolved with the players getting greater than 50% of revenue and the system changing a little bit but not too radically. The small market owners had their chance to get a favorable deal and they failed. The big pocket owners are going to shut it down.

  40. BigBlueAL

    Jafa, unfortunately your take is the exact opposite of what is being written by every writer covering the lockout. What most on this board is saying about these negotiations is just what is being written and said by the writers/analysts who is covering the lockout and negotiations.

    The fact is Fisher himself said they offered the owners a 51/49 split. The players know they are screwed in terms of the BRI, their main thing now is saving as many system issues as possible. Apparently they are trying to setup one last negotiating meeting before the Wed deadline.

  41. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Again, the players would take 50/50 if the owners would move on system. Such an offer has never been on the table, though, so the players could never accept it. There has never been a 50/50 offer on the table without drastic changes to system that would effectively kill the ability for teams over the cap to acquire free agents, which is how most non-stars make their money (and, as we all know, the league is mostly made up of non-stars). A guy like Kevin Martin likely would not lose money on the current league proposal, but plenty of his teammates would. And honestly, Martin’s comments sure sound like he does not understand that, as he’s talking like this is strictly a matter of BRI, which it is not. If it were, this thing likely would be done already.

  42. BigBlueAL

    Kobe Bryant told Yahoo that what he wants is for the owners and union to have another meeting tomorrow or Wed and just iron out the final few system details they disagree on. It is of course the most logical thing to do but logic hasnt exactly ruled these negotiations so far.

  43. Jafa

    After that ultimatum from Stern, I wouldn’t meet with him. If the players do meet with him, they are definitely going to get fleeced.

    This is negotiations 101. You either don’t talk to Stern at all or you come back with your own “open” letter issuing your own threats to level the “hostile” playing field. Otherwise, your going to be conceding a few things.

    On the plus side for me as a fan, I get to watch basketball again and root for my Knicks. Alas, in every negotiation, one side loses unless both sides find a way to grow the pie and come out winners.

  44. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Kobe Bryant told Yahoo that what he wants is for the owners and union to have another meeting tomorrow or Wed and just iron out the final few system details they disagree on. It is of course the most logical thing to do but logic hasnt exactly ruled these negotiations so far.

    Kobe’s plan is what I was discussing – take 50/50 with the system as close to the old system as possible (the players would still be making tons of concessions, but the ability for teams over the cap to acquire free agents would be preserved, which is the key). However, I would differ on the characterization of it as “ironing out the final few system details” – we’re talking a major gap here between the owner’s offer and what the players want/need. But yeah, if Kobe thinks they can get a 50/50 split with capped out teams still being free to pick up players via sign and trades/mid-level exepmptions/trade and extends, then sure, of course they should attempt it.

  45. BigBlueAL

    Chris Broussard is tweeting that the hard-line owners want the players to reject the latest proposal because they think its too much to give to the players. Unbelievable. Thank God he says there are between 7 to 11 owners who feel this way since thats not the majority but still amazing that those owners obviously have no problem losing the season.

    Once a deal is hopefully reached Stern should force all those owners to sell their freaking teams.

  46. Frank

    I can’t imagine that anyone would be happy with a lost season. Certainly the players are hurt by this. The wealthy teams lose a bunch of profit of course. But the small-market owners? Their talking point is that they’d lose more money playing the season under the old CBA than not playing the season at all? I can’t imagine that’s true. While it IS true that they wouldn’t have to pay their largest cost (player salaries), they also would basically have ZERO revenue (they’ll have to pay back season ticket holders, pay back money to the networks, etc.) while still having some level of cost – executive/coach/staff salaries, debt service, arena issues, etc. This whole thing just makes no sense.

  47. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    The issue, though, is that their biggest area of revenue – the TV deal – is paid in full no matter how long the season is. So the cheap owners don’t have any incentive to have a full season, so they can string the players along until late December. Note that the last lockout did not end until January since that was when the owners really needed to get it done to save the season. Games of chicken like this tend not to be resolved until the actual “Doomsday” date. And we still have over a month before we hit that date. So the owners are hoping that the players crack before then.

  48. Nick C.

    I’m surprised that Stern skates away with so little blame, much less scrutiny. Methinks in other sports there are questions of competency immediately brought up when things go awry. Instead he gets to go out there with outlandish proclamations in a negotiation (if you don’t accept this by this time the next offer will be worse) with nary a peep. Is the community that cowed or in awe of this guy or do they fear blacklisting?

  49. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yeah, when the guy making a shitty offer says things like “taking our offer is the rational thing to do” and that gets just plainly reported as such, then you know people are afraid of giving him too much shit.

  50. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    By the way, I find it hilarious that Steve Blake is apparently one of the guys pushing for the union members to accept this deal. Steve Blake, who is the perfect example of a player who would get screwed under this deal, but since Steve Blake already got his money, he is telling his fellow players to accept the deal so that he can get a paycheck again. Weak, Steve Blake, weak!

  51. BigBlueAL

    Well the players today basically said they will take the 50/50 BRI split but just want more system issues go their way. I pray and hope the owners relent on some of these and get a deal done tomorrow.

  52. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    If the owners turn this deal down, Al, would you agree that it’s fair to put this one pretty squarely on the owners?

  53. d-mar

    BigBlueAL:
    Well the players today basically said they will take the 50/50 BRI split but just want more system issues go their way.I pray and hope the owners relent on some of these and get a deal done tomorrow.

    I hope so too BBA, I’m so desperate for hoops that I watched the whole second half of game 7 of the conf. finals against the Pacers. I need some live b-ball!

  54. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    If the owners turn this deal down, Al, would you agree that it’s fair to put this one pretty squarely on the owners?

    Sure. But in the end I could care less whose fault it is and whose bending or whatever, I just want some freaking NBA basketball!!!!

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