So the league has canceled two weeks of games. The players want 53% of basketball-related revenue and the league wants them to take 47%. The league would go 50-50 and the players would go 52-48. So, that is where we are at.
(Any reasonable attorney would tell a client that the settlement figure here is 51-49% in favor of the league, but let's ignore the belief that the league is in favor of anything other than breaking the union when all of these guys go bankrupt w/o the league).
What has changed since the last time the league lost games?
1) The star players deferred some of their big money into this year so they could have income while locked out.
2) The players were told for 2 years not to spend everything they had, but to save some.
3) The players think that they can all make money playing overseas. Basically no one tried that back in the old lockout.
I think of these 3 things, the only one that will matter is #3. 75% of NBA players live check to check. So telling them to save money is like telling me to eat less -- great idea, but won't generally happen. The big stars had plenty of money the last time we lost games, in fact, the big issue was that they could hold out while basically everyone else was going bankrupt. So the fact that these guys are well off doesn't change things.
The only way the players bring the NBA to the bargaining table is if the guys go overseas, like to play there, and make something approximating their NBA money. If they do that, maybe they just sit on 53% and tell the owners "You want no league, you got no league."
My belief, however, is that NBA players will NOT enjoy playing overseas, and that they will generally make far less playing overseas than they can make here. I think a lot of players will think living and playing overseas really sucks.
But if I am wrong, the whole dynamic changes. If 230 of the 300 primary NBA players can find acceptable jobs overseas, maybe they don't file BK and they keep their lives in order and they tell the league to go fuck itself.
But history teaches us that even a substantial decline in income (30-50%) will result in a lot of pro athletes losing their houses and their cars and owing the IRS and casinos a ton of money. THAT is what the NBA is betting on, that players will soon learn that they cannot live their lives as they want unless they play NBA basketball. if 200 of the guys ranked 50-300 on #NBARank start losing their Bentleys,it will not matter at all what LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire have in the bank -- the union will crumble and the players will get under 50% and sign a 10 year deal.
We shall see.