There’s a reason David Stern is regarded as one of the premier commissioners in professional sports, he just seems to be able to smooth over every potentially damaging situation the NBA faces. He made the whole referee gambling fiasco disappear and now he’s working on getting a new CBA worked out with the players.
Stern has been paying close attention to the messy situation that has become the NFL and realizes that another lockout in a major pro sport is the last thing the public wants to see.
The situation in the NBA is less grievous from a fan’s standpoint compared to the NFL. The NBA is actually losing money and unlike the NFL, the NBA has openly shared their financial information with the Player’s union, so there doesn’t seem to be any underhandedness going on.
That said, there’s still no guarantee that the two sides will be able to get a deal done.
As the Associated Press reported, Stern made it clear in his meeting with their Sports Editors that he will lock the players out if a deal can’t be reached to give owners the financial relief they seek. Stern doesn’t care if it comes at the expense of his reputation.
Stern has issued fair warning to the players the deal on the table right now won’t get any sweeter once games start being lost in the event of work stoppage.
As the AP reports, deputy commissioner Adam Silver said time is of the essence:
“Frankly, we’re running out of time,” Silver said. “We have roughly two months and a week to get a deal done before the expiration of this collective bargaining agreement. And I think on that point, Billy Hunter and the union are in full agreement with us that we need to intensify these discussions.”
As gambling professionals, we’re in agreement as well. The damage and loss of revenue the industry would face in the event of both the NFL and NBA shutting down seasons…
That’s enough horror stories for one day.