Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald has a really smart point about the NBA lockout and one Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heart and billionaire.
If next season goes by the wayside, that means he has only two more seasons guaranteed with the Big 3 under contract. What could happen after that is too scary to even consider right now. Put yourself in Arison's shoes, and you would be walking to the negotiating table right now to make sure a deal gets done in time.
The beauty of landing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the primes of the careers was that the championship window would be wide, wide open for as long as they were under contract. They signed four-year deals. Canceling one of those seasons cuts the investment by a quarter. That's just brutal.
There are a lot of quirks like that in this labor situation. The Lakers, Celtics and Mavericks, for instances, can argue until they are blue in the face about the need for a hard cap. But no teams have benefited more over the past, oh, four years -- two titles for L.A., one each for Boston and Dallas -- by exceeding the soft cap to land and keep players like Lamar Odom, Rajon Rondo, Shawn Marion and many more. If the goals are winning championships and making money, it's hard to see how Wyc Grousbeck or Jerry Buss would have much of an issue with the current system. (Despite this, Grousbeck is said to be one of the owners willing to lose a full season.)
Arison's in the oddest position; Gutierrez's piece makes the case that the Heat owner has been a good soldier all along, refusing to exceed the cap in Cubanesque, self-destructive ways in non-championship seasons as a dozen or so other owners get themselves into the trouble that got us here.
The question is whether the owners can get the players to budge close enough that Arison can help make the case to get the sides the rest of the way before Season 2 of The Big Three gets canceled.