David Stern and Billy Hunter continue to preach doomsday scenarios to the media (and Amar'e Stoudemire is tweeting the same), but there's reason for hope given the amount of progress that's already been made, say two plugged-in NBA reporters. First, Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
So while Hunter and Stern remained publicly entrenched in the economic positions of their most recent formal proposals -- with the players asking for 53 percent and the league offering effectively 47, the reality is this: the gap has closed to 2 percentage points of BRI, the difference between the midpoint of the two offers.
With each percentage point of BRI worth about $40 million, the two sides -- who were at one time $8 billion apart over 10 years -- are now a mere $80 million apart on an annual basis. So you can see what the two sides saw Tuesday -- the road to a deal that both sides eventually can find a way to live with that is better than the alternative of missing a substantial portion of the regular season.
Now, Chris Sheridan:
Moreover, the 50-50 concept (Stern made sure everyone understood the distinction that the owners are officially offering 47 percent, but conceptually are willing to go to 50-50. They also made it known that owners last weekend backed off their demand for rollbacks or givebacks from players' current contracts) does not constitute the owners' final offer.
"It demonstrates the potential for more movement on our part," Silver said.
So if you read between the lines and cut through the bullshit, the end game became clear.
There is a deal to be done at 51/49 or 52/48, and there are five days to get there.
To me, that's a layup.
Makes sense, right? Let's hope the players and owners see it the same way.