(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Kobe Bryant made it to a news conference after a meeting of the players’ union in New York this morning, after the NBA players rejected the league’s latest offer and have begun the process to disband the union.
==Does Monday’s players vote guarantee there’ll be no NBA games this season?
Not exactly. While David Stern won’t be confused with Alex Trebek in saying the season is “in jeopardy,” he specifically means that the window for a Dec. 15 start with a 72-game slate is gone. Back when the 1998-99 labor issue labored past Christmas and lasted 191 days, they were able to get a 50-game season played in early February, one month after the decision was reached. How long of a season would you accept?
== Did the NBA players even vote on this latest proposal?
Nope, just the player reps of each of the 30 teams voted to reject the owners’ latest proposal. Had all 450 players voted, the deal could have been ratified, some predicted.
== When do players start losing paychecks?
Tuesday is the first scheduled payment of the season.
== What’s the sticking point in all this again?
How to divide $4 billion in revenue. The owners want a 50-50 split. The players, who used to get 57 percent, are demanding at least 52 percent this time, claiming the owners’ proposal takes $280 million a year away from them. The owners have threatened to reduce their offer from 50 to 47 in the next session.
== Is this playing out like the recent NFL lockout?
The NBA’s lockout hit day 137 on Monday; the NFL’s went 136 days. However, this is more like the 2004-05 NHL labor clash – which led to the entire season being cancelled. They waited until February, ’05 before pulling the plus, and the players ultimately agreed to a deal far less in their favor when it was all done that July.
== What happens next?
The two sides may still talk, but the ball appears to be in the judges’ courts rather than on the hardwood courts. The league filed unfair labor practices charges and started litigation in federal court, claiming the players aren’t bargaining in “good faith.” The players say they’re going to file a class action suit against the league as well as an anti-trust suit, claiming their monopoly is preventing them from being employed as they’re locked out. Meanwhile, check local listings for college games in your area.