By Matt Moore
In this week's edition of the Friday 5, we ask Berger if he's TRYING to ruin the season by jinxing it, if he's impressed with the exhibition play, and how this whole thing ends, if it ends. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS.
1. Zero percent, Ken? ZERO PERCENT? You ever heard of a jinx, man? Why not just toss a litter of black kittens into the meeting room and put a ladder over Fisher's car door?
KB: I'm not willing to hazard a percentage chance that common sense trumps ego and they settle before Monday. Too many variables. But to lose $4 billion, an entire season's worth of revenue, because you can't close an $80 million gap? I dare them.
2. We've got no meetings scheduled at this point. Are they going to get into a room and talk about this thing at the buzzer or not?
KB: You would think that would be the approach. On the eve of Stern's deadline to cancel the rest of the season in '99, he and Hunter pulled an all-nighter and emerged at sunrise with a deal. I don't expect that kind of urgency -- two weeks is a lot less to risk than an entire season -- but I would expect one last serious push to get this done before the collateral damage begins.
3. Has anything about the charity games, their highlights, anything impressed you?
4. Is Dwyane Wade the next Kobe Bryant, in terms of his role in labor talks?
KB: Not so much in these talks. But when we're sitting here covering the 2017 lockout, could Wade find himself playing the role of Kobe and Garnett from the other day?
Absolutely. The veteran stars like Kobe and KG kept a low profile for much of the negotiation, leaving the younger generation to handle it so as not to allow their own agendas to get in the way. But it wasn't surprising that, at the moment of truth Tuesday, there they were in the huddle -- right where they belonged.
5. What is each side going to regret the most about the last four months come Monday?
Owners: The fact that their hard-line position ended up casting them as the bad guys of the lockout -- and it's pretty hard to be the bad guys when you're opposing professional athletes.
Players: Maybe, in retrospect, it was a negotiating error to move down to 54 percent as early as they did. I give them credit for trying to get a deal done and avoid the lockout entirely, but that billion-dollar move in June wasn't answered by the owners until three days ago. Makes you wonder what the final number would've been had the players not budged until Tuesday, as well.