Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
When NBA labor talks resume Friday, NBA commissioner David Stern is planning to threaten players with the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season if the sides haven't made major progress toward a deal by the end of the weekend, according to sources close to the talks.
Although sources said the union views such an extreme stance as more of a negotiating tactic than a legitimate threat, Stern went almost that far in his comments to reporters in New York on Wednesday after a second straight day of negotiations.
If I'm sitting across from David Stern in negotiations and he pulls this threat, I'd flat out tell him "go ahead then, do it," and walk out. (A) Because there's no way NBA owners would go nuclear right now when there are options available to them and (B) because it's a strong-arm tactic aimed at making you cave rather than negotiating with you.
If the NBA cancelled the season this weekend, it would be 100% on the owners. Owners would take the full brunt of the blame. They are the ones who started this lockout. We then saw two months go by with no talks. And when we finally started getting somewhere, they pull a "take it or leave it" offer with time still left on the clock?
There's no way that happens. And I don't think Stern is stupid enough to do it. I'm betting this, if anything, was floated out into the media as a test to gauge reaction (especially since it seems they're trying like hell to deny it today). Well, the reaction is bad. So don't bother with the bluff because it's obvious that you're bluffing.
We want a season, and we want it now. But threatening to cancel it doesn't make us cower and beg "please… no… we'll do anything!!" Threatening to cancel it now would only alienate us further, because we know there's time to save it. It's like putting down a sick dog that just needs a trip to the vet.
The threats… the posturing… all of this stuff we're reading…. it's crap. Total crap. The NBA is worth more than a small country, and half of its owners are in the top one percent of richest Americans. We're all getting quite sick of it. Split your billions of dollars already, cut the bullshit threats, and let's get on with it.
The rest of the links: