At the conclusion of Tuesday's negotiations between the NBA's owners and players' union, David Stern told the media during a press conference that he had approached the union about a 50-50 split of revenue, which the players had rejected. It was an informal offer, Stern said, but a potential framework for a deal, and a sign that the owners were willing to budge from previous demands to end the lockout.
While an offer may have been made, sources tell SI.com's Chris Mannix that it wasn't quite a 50-50 split, and that officials within the union resent Stern's decision to discuss it with the media:
While admitting a private offer was made -- an offer NBPA executive director Billy Hunter did not acknowledge during a news conference -- union sources dispute the NBA's numbers. According to multiple sources, the offer was for a guarantee of 49 percent of the BRI with a max of 51 percent. Still, union representatives took the offer back to the group. A short time later, they countered with a proposal for a guarantee of 51 percent of the BRI with a cap at 53 percent. That offer, sources said, was rejected.
Union officials were furious that Stern publicly disclosed the offer. Some believe it was put out to drive a wedge between the union, which thus far has been largely represented by veteran players making mid-seven- or eight-figure salaries. And in some ways, it had that effect. Three role players told SI.com via text message that, while needing further details, a 50-50 split sounded fair.
Attempting to find common ground and seeding dissension are two completely different things -- and yet Stern has apparently managed to do both at the same time.