Based on the rhetoric that came out of Tuesday's NBA lockout meeting between the owners and the NBA Players Association, you'd have thought that both sides took a major step back. However, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the opposite is true. In fact, there was significant movement on one of the biggest issues of the lockout: the Basketball-Related Income split.
Neither side would say how far the players moved economically, but a person with knowledge of the negotiations said they expressed a willingness to move lower than the 54.3 percent of basketball-related income they last proposed on June 30 as a starting point in a six-year deal. Stern disputed the players' contention that the owners haven't made an economic move since the day before the lockout was imposed. Nobody outside the room knows how many millions the two sides shaved off the gap, but it hardly matters since everyone seemed willing to concede that they've at least dipped their toes on common ground when it comes to dollars.
"I'd just say it's on the road, and we know how to negotiate over dollars when the time comes," Stern said.
The old Basketball-Related Income split has the players receiving 57 percent of all income. A previous proposal by the NBPA knocked that down to 54 percent, and now, it's been knocked down further. The two sides are still far apart on the issue of a hard salary cap, but as Tom Ziller implies, that's the kind of thing that should be solvable, assuming both sides are willing to actually compromise.