Could it be possible that it’s not only the NBA players who are splintered over commissioner David Stern’s 50–50 revenue split ultimatum?
At least 15 owners are not pleased with the offer and are hoping the players reject the offer that would give them anywhere from 49 to 51 percent of the basketball-related income under a new collective bargaining agreement, according to reports. The owners are hoping the players association won't accept the deal so that players will be forced to accept a deal that provides them with even less revenue.
All indications are that the players union won't accept the deal by Stern’s Wednesday deadline.
"There are at least 15 owners who are praying that the players say no,'' one source told ESPN "because then they'll get the deal they want.''
The deal those owners want is the drop down deal that moves the revenue split to 53–47 in favor of the owners.
Under Stern's harsher proposal for not accepting the deal, there is a clause that calls for "existing contracts rolled back in proportion to system changes in order to ensure sufficient market for free agents," a person with knowledge of the details told the Associated Press.
Apparently Stern detailed the rollback issue in a letter sent to union executive director Billy Hunter on Sunday and was obtained by both CBSsports.com and The New York Times.
"We think that there's a great offer on the table and what we told the players is it's getting late, the only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal because given what's going on in our business and our industry, it'll get worse from there," Stern said during an interview with ESPN.
That rollback proposal is sure to be met with opposition as some NBA players are already concerned the union isn’t doing enough to protect their interests, which may soon divide the players.
A group of players and their representatives held their third conference call in a week on Monday to discuss decertification of the union so that they can explore suing the owners in antitrust court. In the meantime, the union has called a meeting with all 30 team representatives for Tuesday to discuss Stern's latest proposal and the direction to head from there.
(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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