David Stern has started up another media tour, taking his message to radio shows, TV shows, podcasts and basically anyone who will listen. He's not so much trying to go for the PR spin this time though. He's just trying to speak to the rank and file players. He's trying, desperately, to make a deal.
But with Wednesday's doomsday deadline rapidly approaching, there's a legitimate fear the season could be lost. Will that actually happen? Could it? Stern was on ESPN New York and was asked that:
“I refuse to contemplate it or discuss because we are going to make a deal. (Host: So you’re confident?) Unlike any other deal, if I don’t bid enough for your house you don’t have to sell it to me. Or if you ask too much I don’t have to buy it. Our players, there’s going to be a deal. The only question is how much damage is done to the game and our fans and the people who work in our industry before we make that deal.”It sounds bold and important. It's a pretty snazzy headline. We are going to make a deal. But it's true. At some point, whether Wednesday, in January, or in 2014, the NBA and NBPA will have a deal. There will be basketball again, someday. It's just a matter of when.
Stern was also asked about the idea that the players are making all the concessions:
“I would argue that if I were them also. But another view on this is by working together with us over the last number of years, 30 years or so, we’ve taken the average player salary from 250 thousand dollars a year to well over five million and if we make the changes that are in the owners current proposal we will take a small step back from the $5.5 million average salary to something above five and we will grow it over the life of the proposal to well over seven million dollars.He may not be trying to win the PR war, but darn it, is he good at it.
This at a time when there’s nine percent unemployment, when all of the risk on this business is on the owners and the five or six thousand other people who help make it. We think it’s a very fair accommodation. We’re giving them the benefit really of keeping them pretty close to where they are under a system that is no longer sustainable.
Via Sports Radio Interviews