NBA lockout: Now what?

NBA lockout: Now what?
November 11, 2011, 9:00 pm
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OK, sonow that the NBA players union has that revised proposal from the league,whats going to happen?Well,nobody knows for sure, of course, but heres how things may shake out over theweekend and into early next week.At somepoint in the next day or two, Warriors player representative Charlie Bell andother reps will board planes to New York City to meet with union presidentDerek Fisher and executive director Billy Hunter.In themeantime, those player representatives will be calling teammates, solicitingtheir input and trying to gauge where their players stand on the deal. Theplayers are expected to respond by the end of Tuesday.
At thispoint, holding what is believed to be the owners final proposal, it appearsthe players have four possible moves, none of them particularly appealing.One accept the deal as is, resigning themselves to an agreement that will give theowners back more than 1.3 billion in salary over the length of the contractand further restrict free agent movement.Two reject the deal and risk commissioner David Stern and the owners resettingthe ensuing proposal to one that is significantly worse -- calling for a hardsalary cap and rollbacks in player salaries, among others.Three Come back with adjustments to the proposal that the players already have agreedto ratify, thereby putting the onus on the owners to either accept or rejectit. Thats risky because Stern has indicated the owners are done negotiating.However, hes issued an ultimatum before in this process and subsequentlybacked off.Four Begin the process to decertify the union, which would put the matter into courtsystem and in all likelihood cost everyone the 2011-12 season.Sternsaid that if the players accept the deal, the season could start on Dec. 15,and teams would play 72 games. If the players dont accept the deal, it islikely Stern would cancel games through Christmas.Althoughits been suggested Stern and the owners could conceivably cancel the season ifthe deal is rejected early next week, that would appear to be premature andextreme. During the 1998-99 lockout, sides didnt reach an agreement untilearly January and a 50-game season began in early February.

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