Monday's deadline to end the NBA lockout before regular season games are lost could not come quietly. Anonymous officials from both the league and the players' union joined to crank the burner back up to "super boil" late Friday, as multiple reporters cited anonymous sources who said that the union refused to agree to a last-ditch Monday meeting that was conditioned on players accepting a 50-50 split of basketball-related income.
The league reportedly offered that 50-50 split toward the end of Tuesday's crucial negotiating session, coming off their previous concept that effectively gave players -- who had 57 percent of league revenue under the last collective bargaining agreement -- 47 percent of future revenue. The union is stuck on a deal that averages out to 53 percent of revenue going to players.
If the reports are true and the league set a negotiating point before agreeing to a meeting, players are right to be angry. But union director Billy Hunter is apparently flying to Los Angeles for a meeting with players, and isn't planning to be in New York on Monday. That can only anger the league further, as it is likely meant to do.
In the end, it's likely the sides will talk before Monday. They are painfully close to a deal, and a churlish end to negotiations at this point seems ridiculous. Will sanity prevail?