Hanrahan: NBA's line in sand washed away

Hanrahan: NBA's line in sand washed away
November 15, 2011, 4:45 pm
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Tuesday November 1, 2011 11:44 a.m.

By Frank Hanrahan

The last line that was drawn in the sand got washed away with the NBA players union rejecting the latest offer from the owners. To make matters more complicated and likely more drawn out, the union disbanded to become a trade association to enable it to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA.

The 2011-12 season has never been more in jeopardy than it is right now.

So how on earth has it gotten to the point where the season hangs in the balance and with the ball literally in the courts? We all know the answer. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

The inability to figure out how to divide up nearly 4 billion is concerning, frustrating and, quite honestly, astonishing.

Perspective on both sides has clearly been lost, or did it ever exist in the first place? Probably not. This is a business, and rarely in business do people admit emotion is involved. Except this is a business that relies on fans, who establish emotional ties to their teams.

The emotion right now has to be disbelief that there are no games so far.

Players argue that they have made all the concessions in the negotiations, dropping the percentage of the basketball-related income (BRI) from 57 to 50, while the owners counter by saying they lost 300 million last season. Something or someone has to give and neither side is budging, despite the obvious loss to all parties of millions of dollars by not playing so far.

A month of the season has already been canceled with many more games to be axed shortly. At this point, both sides would rather not play.

The momentum that the league built up last year arguably could pick it back up at some point but it all depends on how long this lockout continues.

There is still an outside shot that the two sides could get back to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal, but that's unlikely since NBA Commissioner David Stern warned that if the players rejected the most recent offer, the owners BRI offer for the players would drop down to 47 percent.

The calculated risk by both sides doesn't seem to be paying off, does it?