The hardest hits likely will be felt by those off the court _ from the 114 people the NBA laid off in July to businesses that depend on fans flocking to the games.
What he may not see at all this year are the hundreds of fans who routinely pack his 224-seat restaurant before each Utah Jazz game, parking their cars for free if they order $14 in food, including his famous made-to-order patties crowned with pastrami.
“For us, it’s a tremendous impact if these games don’t go through,” said Katsanevas, whose family owns the restaurant just a block north of the arena and five others in the metro area. “Before it used to be our gravy. But now with the economy and everything else that’s going on, it’s become a necessity.”
He said all of his 41 employees will see their hours cut if the lockout continues.
Players and owners did narrow the financial gap before talks broke down Tuesday. Players proposed lowering their BRI guarantee to 53 percent and owners increased their formal offer to 47 percent. Stern also said he discussed the idea of a 50-50 split, which was rejected by players.
With each percentage point equivalent to roughly $38 million of last year’s BRI total of $3.8 billion, the union believes a reduction from 57 percent to 53 percent is enough of a concession, saying it would transfer more than $1 billion to owners in six years.
So while sharing 50-50 sounds great in kindergarten, it may not work for NBA players.
Stern said the league had backed off other demands, like salary rollbacks and non-guaranteed contracts, while offering players a chance to opt out of the agreement after seven years. So there is hope of a compromise in the coming days.
Both sides insist they are committed to making a deal, although Silver confirmed last season that some money-losing teams would be better off if there were no season.
Fans wonder how the NBA could be on the brink of self-destruction over a few measly percentage points when its popularity has soared. The historic free agency period of 2010, which put LeBron James in Miami alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, brought a new level of interest that carried right through the Dallas Mavericks’ victory over the Heat in the NBA finals.
But in announcing the lockout on June 30, Stern noted that small-market owners didn’t particularly enjoy the season or feel included in it, and many have little incentive to go back to a system that looks like the old one.
Nor would players want to play under a system that restricts free agency or limits their earning potential. Hunter and union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers have said they are prepared to sit rather than accept a bad deal.
That could be the outcome, as damaging as it seems, without a big change in a short amount of time.View Entire Story
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