Steinmetz: Owners' plan is going to take time

September 13, 2011, 9:37 pm
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Sept. 13, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

It's a simple question and one we've asked a bunch of times: Why would NBA owners endeavor to resolve this labor disputelockout without using perhaps their most significant piece of leverage?Answer: They wouldn't.The leverage in question is, of course, money. Yes, the lockout is into Month No. 3, but the fact of the matter is many NBA players are still drawing paychecks from the 2010-11 season. They'll continue to do so for another month-and-a-half, and then those checks will stop coming.
It seems highly unlikely -- and particularly so after Tuesday's dreadful meeting -- that the owners will agree to anything before late November or early December. Again, why would they? The only chance owners have of getting everything they want -- most important a hard cap -- is to first pinch the players financially.Only way they can do that is to allow the lockout to linger. And that's where we're at right now.Over the past few weeks, there has seemingly been some positive vibes coming out of the negotiations. But the reality is that positivity was built solely on both sides refraining from acrimony. That's it. There wasn't anything of importance agreed upon.Just because both sides are playing nicer doesn't mean this thing is any closer to ending. The owners have been thinking about this lockout for years; they're not going to give in -- especially at the start of this process. And that, unfortunately, is where we're at with this whole thing: The start of the process.In the next week or so, training camps and the exhibition season will be scrapped. After that, the league will likely announce the missing of a portion of the early schedule. From there the question becomes: Will there be a season at all?That's always been the most important question. And it's one that is still months away from being answered.

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