The NBA lockout is now two and half months in and either progress is being made, or Dan Gilbert is CBA-blocking the entire league, depending on the day and who you talk to. "It sucks" has been a phrase I've heard thrown around by a lot of players when asked to give their thoughts on the lockout and I concur. Not only is it preventing the players from playing and everyone from making money, but it's been a complete buzz kill to die-hard NBA fans everywhere.
Normally this time of year would be filled with training camp updates, Andre Iguodala trade rumors, RickoT's bucket=stop=bucket rants and season previews galore. Instead, we're constantly bombarded with ever-changing lockout news and weird stories like Andre Iguodala attending fashion week and Harvey Pollack breaking the record for most consecutive days wearing a different t-shirt.
Getting a taste of live NBA basketball this week at the "Lockout League" definitely got me excited for NBA basketball again for the first time since the draft. I think I speak for everyone when I say this lockout needs to end soon.
After the jump you'll find a few key articles covering the latest on the lockout.
CBS Sports: Despite posturing, owners and players near resolving money issue
The players' astonishment at the owners' ongoing demands can be summed up like this: The owners want significant salary concessions, which they're on the verge of receiving, and they want a more restrictive cap system to go with it. They can't have both, say the players. It's straight out of the cake-and-eat-it-too negotiating handbook.
Sports Illustrated: Fisher answers lockout questions after productive players meeting
NBCSports: Stern says owners unified, "vast majority" favor hard cap
If the owners truly are committed to a hard cap, this is going to be long and ugly. But if the players get down to 50 or 51 percent of the BRI, would a majority of owners be willing to get away from a hard cap?
Stern and Silver made it sound like no, but that's what the future weeks of negotiation are about.
NBCSports: Report: Owners of Cavs, Suns killed potential labor deal
But when the owners left the players to meet among themselves for around three hours, Cleveland's Dan Gilbert and Phoenix's Robert Sarver expressed their dissatisfaction with many of the points, sources said. The sources said that the Knicks' James Dolan and the Lakers' Jerry Buss were visibly annoyed by the hardline demands of Gilbert and Sarver.
ESPN: Ready to negotiate that hard cap: David Stern
They're close on money? That's huge. The assessment has long been that if they agree on money, nothing else could stop the season starting on time. Maybe the headlines after Tuesday's meeting should have more along the lines of "just one more issue to go."
The problem on Tuesday was that neither side was willing to dig deep to resolve a divide between the league's urge for a team-by-team hard cap, or the union's desire to keep the same kind of soft cap (with bird rights, trade exceptions, mid-level exceptions etc.) the league has long had
A week ago there was a ton of optimism that a deal could get done relatively soon. Now talks have made a complete 180, it seems. Your guess is a good as anyone else's on whether or not we'll have a 2011-12 NBA season, and/or in what capacity.