Never trust the New York Times

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    Never trust the New York Times

    95% done?
    No way!!

    "There are still several system issues that need to be addressed," said Roger Mason.

    The NYT reported the system issues were 95% done!!
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]95% done? No way!! "There are still several system issues that need to be addressed," said Roger Mason. The NYT reported the system issues were 95% done!!
    Posted by Red-16Russ-11[/QUOTE]

    How about a link.

    Pud
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Never trust the New York Times : How about a link. Pud
    Posted by puddinpuddin[/QUOTE]

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/216298/NBPA_Comes_Out_Of_Meeting_Absolutely_Unified


     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    From the NYTimes dated 10/29/11 by Howard Beck

    The new N.B.A. labor deal is practically done. You wouldn’t know it from the headlines, the dour news conferences or the apocalyptic rhetoric spilling from league officials. But the deal, in practical terms, is about 95 percent complete.

    The N.B.A. and the players union have agreed on contract lengths and luxury-tax rates, trade rules and cap exceptions, and a host of oddly named provisions offering “amnesty” and “stretch payments” and less onerous “base-year” rules.

    All of these pieces — some favoring the players, most of them favoring the owners — have fallen into place in recent weeks, even as talks collapsed and restarted and collapsed again. The checklist has been reduced to a few items.

    But it is the last 5 percent that is ruining the prospects for labor peace and gradually eroding the N.B.A. season.

    Four weeks of games are gone, and more could fall, because owners and players are still fighting over how to split $4 billion in revenue. The league wants a 50-50 split. The players want 52.5 percent.

    In real terms, they are separated by about $100 million a year — a hefty sum, but small in the context of these negotiations. They were once 20 percent and hundreds of millions apart.

    The difficulty in closing the gap is psychological and financial.

    The players, who last season earned 57 percent, have already made a $180 million concession. They have agreed to a harsher luxury tax, shorter contracts and smaller raises. They have made concessions on nearly every major item in the collective bargaining agreement — a tacit admission that the league’s economic woes are real and substantial and had to be addressed.

    The final deal will, by any objective measure, heavily favor the owners when compared with the last two C.B.A.’s. Union leaders contend they have moved far enough.

    The owners make the same claim. They initially demanded an absolute, hard salary cap, an $800 million rollback in salaries, elimination of guaranteed contracts and a 37 percent share for players. They have dropped all of those demands and are making the 50 percent offer over the objections of several small-market owners.

    N.B.A. officials say the 50-50 split will barely get them to the break-even point, after losing $300 million last season. Moving beyond 50 percent would mean several more years of losses, they say, and small-market teams would remain handicapped, even with more revenue sharing.

    If the union compromises further, it will agitate the high-powered agents, who could rally against ratification. If the N.B.A. compromises further, it risks a revolt from owners.

    Neither side believes it can, or should, make another move. Their mutual intransigence has cost them a month of games and hundreds of millions in revenue.

    Yet if the negotiating pattern holds — and the breakdown in talks is quickly followed by another last-gasp return to the table — it should not take long to complete the deal.

    Tentative agreements are already in place on the following major items:

    ¶ Luxury-tax rate: Teams will be charged $1.50 per $1 spent beyond a threshold, replacing the previous dollar-for-dollar tax, according to people who have seen the plan.

    To further discourage spending, the tax will increase for every $5 million spent beyond the threshold: to $1.75 after $5 million, $2.50 after $10 million and $3.25 after $15 million.

    Under this system, the Los Angeles Lakers would have paid $45 million in taxes last season, compared with $20 million under the old formula. (The rates could still change based on other tradeoffs.)

    ¶ Contract lengths: Players with “Bird” rights will be eligible for five-year deals, while others will be limited to four. The previous C.B.A. allowed for six-year (Bird) and five-year deals. The 1999 C.B.A. allowed for seven-year (Bird) and six-year deals.

    ¶ Raises: Annual raises will be reduced by several percentage points, possibly as low as 5.5 percent for Bird players and 3.5 percent for non-Bird players. The prior deal allowed raises as high as 10.5 percent (Bird) and 8 percent.

    ¶ Midlevel exception: It will start at $5 million, a decrease of $800,000. The contract length and annual raises attached to the exception remain under discussion.

    ¶ Amnesty clause: Each team will be permitted to waive one player, with pay — anytime during the life of the C.B.A. — and have his salary be exempt from the cap and the luxury tax. Its use will be limited to players already under contract as of July 1, 2011.

    ¶ Stretch exception: Teams will be permitted to stretch out payments to waived players, spreading out the cap hit, over several seasons. The payment schedule will be set by doubling the years left on the contract and adding one. (Thus a team waiving a player with two years left could pay him over five years.)

    There are a few critical issues still under debate. The N.B.A. wants to further punish tax-paying teams by denying them use of the midlevel exception and sign-and-trade deals, and wants additional penalties for “repeat offenders.” The union opposes those measures.

    Nearly all of the new provisions will benefit the owners. In return, the players will gain an easing of trade rules and relaxed regulations on restricted free agents.

    So the broad parameters of an agreement are in place. The gap on the revenue split is significant, but manageable. As N.B.A. officials have said many times, both sides know where the deal is — they just have to get there.

    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: October 31, 2011

    An earlier version of this article misstated how much the luxury-tax rate would increase to further discourage spending as $2.25 after $10 million and $3 after $15 million, and the amount the Lakers would have paid in taxes last season as $42.5 million.  It also erroneously stated that annual raises might be as low as 5 percent for players with “Bird” rights.


     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times : Doesn't sound 95% to me, does it to you, Pud?
    Posted by Red-16Russ-11[/QUOTE]

    My sense is that the NYTimes writer is being a lot more truthful than Mason who clearly has a dog in this fight.

    Granted that a few "systems" loose ends still need tweaking, it basically come down to the 50/50 $$$$ split issue, something Mason doesn't want to acknowledge behind all of his bluff and bluster... and player solidarity.

    The union has a weak hand but doesn't want to let on just how weak.

    To quote the NYTimes article, both sides know where the deal is.

    Besides the players are getting really, really "itchy" to play.

    Pud
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    For some reason these posts are getting transposed out of sequence.

    Pud

    EDIT NOTE: This post is out of sequence too. It was posted at 10:55 or so my time (E.S.T)  but shows that it was posted at 9:55 or so.

    Pud
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    The Forum "clock" is messed up. Its 11:00 EST but this post will likely say 10:00 or so.... and will be put out of sequence.

    Weird!

    Pud
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]From the NYTimes dated 10/29/11 by Howard Beck The new N.B.A. labor deal is practically done. You wouldn’t know it from the headlines, the dour news conferences or the apocalyptic rhetoric spilling from league officials. But the deal, in practical terms, is about 95 percent complete. The N.B.A. and the players union have agreed on contract lengths and luxury-tax rates, trade rules and cap exceptions, and a host of oddly named provisions offering “amnesty” and “stretch payments” and less onerous “base-year” rules. All of these pieces — some favoring the players, most of them favoring the owners — have fallen into place in recent weeks, even as talks collapsed and restarted and collapsed again. The checklist has been reduced to a few items. But it is the last 5 percent that is ruining the prospects for labor peace and gradually eroding the N.B.A. season. Four weeks of games are gone, and more could fall, because owners and players are still fighting over how to split $4 billion in revenue. The league wants a 50-50 split. The players want 52.5 percent. In real terms, they are separated by about $100 million a year — a hefty sum, but small in the context of these negotiations. They were once 20 percent and hundreds of millions apart. The difficulty in closing the gap is psychological and financial. The players, who last season earned 57 percent, have already made a $180 million concession. They have agreed to a harsher luxury tax, shorter contracts and smaller raises. They have made concessions on nearly every major item in the collective bargaining agreement — a tacit admission that the league’s economic woes are real and substantial and had to be addressed. The final deal will, by any objective measure, heavily favor the owners when compared with the last two C.B.A.’s. Union leaders contend they have moved far enough. The owners make the same claim. They initially demanded an absolute, hard salary cap, an $800 million rollback in salaries, elimination of guaranteed contracts and a 37 percent share for players. They have dropped all of those demands and are making the 50 percent offer over the objections of several small-market owners. N.B.A. officials say the 50-50 split will barely get them to the break-even point, after losing $300 million last season. Moving beyond 50 percent would mean several more years of losses, they say, and small-market teams would remain handicapped, even with more revenue sharing. If the union compromises further, it will agitate the high-powered agents, who could rally against ratification. If the N.B.A. compromises further, it risks a revolt from owners. Neither side believes it can, or should, make another move. Their mutual intransigence has cost them a month of games and hundreds of millions in revenue. Yet if the negotiating pattern holds — and the breakdown in talks is quickly followed by another last-gasp return to the table — it should not take long to complete the deal. Tentative agreements are already in place on the following major items: ¶ Luxury-tax rate: Teams will be charged $1.50 per $1 spent beyond a threshold, replacing the previous dollar-for-dollar tax, according to people who have seen the plan. To further discourage spending, the tax will increase for every $5 million spent beyond the threshold: to $1.75 after $5 million, $2.50 after $10 million and $3.25 after $15 million. Under this system, the Los Angeles Lakers would have paid $45 million in taxes last season, compared with $20 million under the old formula. (The rates could still change based on other tradeoffs.) ¶ Contract lengths: Players with “Bird” rights will be eligible for five-year deals, while others will be limited to four. The previous C.B.A. allowed for six-year (Bird) and five-year deals. The 1999 C.B.A. allowed for seven-year (Bird) and six-year deals. ¶ Raises: Annual raises will be reduced by several percentage points, possibly as low as 5.5 percent for Bird players and 3.5 percent for non-Bird players. The prior deal allowed raises as high as 10.5 percent (Bird) and 8 percent. ¶ Midlevel exception: It will start at $5 million, a decrease of $800,000. The contract length and annual raises attached to the exception remain under discussion. ¶ Amnesty clause: Each team will be permitted to waive one player, with pay — anytime during the life of the C.B.A. — and have his salary be exempt from the cap and the luxury tax. Its use will be limited to players already under contract as of July 1, 2011. ¶ Stretch exception: Teams will be permitted to stretch out payments to waived players, spreading out the cap hit, over several seasons. The payment schedule will be set by doubling the years left on the contract and adding one. (Thus a team waiving a player with two years left could pay him over five years.) There are a few critical issues still under debate. The N.B.A. wants to further punish tax-paying teams by denying them use of the midlevel exception and sign-and-trade deals, and wants additional penalties for “repeat offenders.” The union opposes those measures. Nearly all of the new provisions will benefit the owners. In return, the players will gain an easing of trade rules and relaxed regulations on restricted free agents. So the broad parameters of an agreement are in place. The gap on the revenue split is significant, but manageable. As N.B.A. officials have said many times, both sides know where the deal is — they just have to get there. This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Correction: October 31, 2011 An earlier version of this article misstated how much the luxury-tax rate would increase to further discourage spending as $2.25 after $10 million and $3 after $15 million, and the amount the Lakers would have paid in taxes last season as $42.5 million.  It also erroneously stated that annual raises might be as low as 5 percent for players with “Bird” rights.
    Posted by puddinpuddin[/QUOTE]

    Doesn't sound 95% to me, does it to you, Pud?
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times : Doesn't sound 95% to me, does it to you, Pud?
    Posted by Red-16Russ-11[/QUOTE]

    See my response to your question posted above... out of sequence.

    Pud
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times : See my response to your question posted above... out of sequence. Pud
    Posted by puddinpuddin[/QUOTE]

    I think it's all a ploy by the owners.  They know the system is broken, but they want to deal with the BRI first.  They figure, this is more important to the players, and they  (the players) will cave on the other issues.  50/51 really isn't that big of a deal, but notice how they never talk about both things at the same time.  Seems to me that everytime they talk about the "system" the talks break down, while every time they talk about BRI, the sides come out optimistic.  I think once BRI is settled, the owners will hammer the players on the system issues...............I have no inside knowledge, this is just my opinion.
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times : I think it's all a ploy by the owners.  They know the system is broken, but they want to deal with the BRI first.  They figure, this is more important to the players, and they  (the players) will cave on the other issues.  50/51 really isn't that big of a deal, but notice how they never talk about both things at the same time.  Seems to me that everytime they talk about the "system" the talks break down, while every time they talk about BRI, the sides come out optimistic.  I think once BRI is settled, the owners will hammer the players on the system issues...............I have no inside knowledge, this is just my opinion.
    Posted by Red-16Russ-11[/QUOTE]

    The BRI and the "systems issues" are not unrelated. Squeeze on one and the other changes shape. Whack-A-Mole.

    There is plenty of "ploying" going on on both sides. Now we have an effort to "decertify" the union. See below.... from the NYTimes yesterday.

    Pud

    50 N.B.A. Players Considering Dissolution of Union

    Negotiations to end the N.B.A. lockout will resume Saturday amid a new threat to labor peace: a disillusioned faction of players.

    About 50 players, including some All-Stars, are planning a drive to dissolve their union if talks again falter, or if the talks produce a labor deal that they deem unpalatable, according to a person who has spoken with the group.

    The threat could throw a wrench into negotiations as league and union officials attempt to broker a deal, knowing that any compromise might trigger a legal battle that could last for months.

    “It’s a potential threat to all,” said Gabe Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University. “It could signal the breakdown of collective bargaining talks.”

    Dissolving the union, also known as decertification, would allow the players to sue the N.B.A. under federal antitrust law, and could force the owners to end the lockout. But there are many potential obstacles, both legal and otherwise, and the decertification process could take two months. By that time, the entire 2011-12 season might be lost.

    The most immediate outcome of a decertification drive would be chaos, the mere threat of which could hasten a deal. Feldman said it could be “just another ploy to gain leverage” for the players and a “major weapon in collective bargaining.” But it also could make it tougher to reach a deal.

    The 50-player faction is essentially demanding that the union make no more concessions. That means holding firm for a 52.5 percent share of league revenue — as the union has done so far — and rejecting any new restrictions on contracts and free agency.

    If the union compromises too far in either area, it could trigger the decertification drive. The mere threat could handcuff union officials at the bargaining table. Or, in theory, it could motivate the owners to compromise to avoid legal purgatory.

    If the union decertifies, its leadership would effectively be dismissed, giving the league no one to negotiate with, and no immediate possibility for a new collective bargaining agreement.

    “In terms of long-term or even short-term stability of the league, it’s obviously a huge setback if they go through with it,” Feldman said. “And that’s a big if.”

    Decertifying would require that 30 percent of the union — about 130 players — sign a petition, which would then trigger an election by the full membership, under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board. It would then take a simple majority to decertify.

    The player faction held two conference calls this week with an antitrust lawyer, on Tuesday and on Thursday, according to the person who had spoken with the group. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the effort.

    It was not clear whether the players had notified the union of the effort. Union officials did not immediately return calls Thursday night.

    The movement was said to be entirely player-driven, and borne of a frustration with the pace of negotiations. The players have been locked out since July 1, and a month of games have been canceled. Talks have broken off four times in the last five weeks.

    N.B.A. owners want a 50-50 split of revenue and have held firm to that position. The league is also pushing to eliminate certain salary-cap exceptions for teams that exceed the luxury-tax threshold. Those cap exceptions are viewed by players and agents as critical to a vibrant free-agent market. Their elimination would also trigger the decertification drive.

    There are other obstacles. The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the N.L.R.B., and the board traditionally will not consider a decertification petition while a charge is pending.

    Although the owners pre-emptively sued the union to block any attempt at dissolving, it would not apply in this case, Feldman said. That lawsuit covered only “disclaimer of interest” — in which union officials initiate the dissolution. It does not cover decertification, which is initiated by the players.

    “If there is a true coup of the union, then the nonunionized players have a much stronger argument that they should be entitled to bring an antitrust suit,” Feldman said.

    The hope for both sides, however, is that it never reaches that stage.

    The decertification effort became public just hours after union leaders held a news conference to reaffirm their unity, and to quash rumors of infighting.

    Union officials met for more than three hours on Thursday, mostly to formulate their bargaining strategy but in part to address the reports. Then they met with reporters, having literally and figuratively closed ranks.

    Derek Fisher, the union’s president, and Billy Hunter, its executive director, sat side by side at a conference table, flanked by five players from the executive board. Rifts were denied, reports rebutted and common goals reaffirmed.

    “Derek and I have an excellent relationship,” Hunter said. “The board, we’re all together. So if you’re all expecting anything other than that, you’re wasting your time.”

    The character testimonials became necessary after a FoxSports.com report alleging that Fisher had attempted to broker a private deal with Commissioner David Stern, without the union’s knowledge. The report, which cited an unnamed source, accused Fisher of making that deal for personal gain: the possibility of a future job in the league.

    Fisher called the report “libelous and defamatory” and demanded a retraction. On Thursday, he was asked directly whether he had, as reported, promised Stern that he could get the union to agree to a 50-50 split of revenue. “No, I did not,” Fisher said.

    Fisher said a secret deal was impossible on its face. The union president is not empowered to make unilateral decisions. The nine-man executive board must sign off on any proposed labor deal, which would then be submitted to the 30 team representatives before going to a vote of the full membership.

    Conspiracy theories aside, the brutal negotiating process has strained the relationship between Fisher and Hunter. Fisher, according to people in contact with the union, believes a 50-50 arrangement could be considered, if the union wins on certain other issues. Hunter is said to be adamant about staying at 52 percent or higher.

    “I’ve never attached myself to a particular percentage,” Fisher said. Hunter took a more strident stance.

    “My position,” he said, “is I don’t think there should ever be a circumstance where owners make the same or more than the players.”

     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Never trust the New York Times : The BRI and the "systems issues" are not unrelated. Squeeze on one and the other changes shape. Whack-A-Mole. There is plenty of "ploying" going on on both sides. Now we have an effort to "decertify" the union. See below.... from the NYTimes yesterday. Pud 50 N.B.A. Players Considering Dissolution of Union By HOWARD BECK Negotiations to end the N.B.A. lockout will resume Saturday amid a new threat to labor peace: a disillusioned faction of players. About 50 players, including some All-Stars, are planning a drive to dissolve their union if talks again falter, or if the talks produce a labor deal that they deem unpalatable, according to a person who has spoken with the group. The threat could throw a wrench into negotiations as league and union officials attempt to broker a deal, knowing that any compromise might trigger a legal battle that could last for months. “It’s a potential threat to all,” said Gabe Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University. “It could signal the breakdown of collective bargaining talks.” Dissolving the union, also known as decertification, would allow the players to sue the N.B.A. under federal antitrust law, and could force the owners to end the lockout. But there are many potential obstacles, both legal and otherwise, and the decertification process could take two months. By that time, the entire 2011-12 season might be lost. The most immediate outcome of a decertification drive would be chaos, the mere threat of which could hasten a deal. Feldman said it could be “just another ploy to gain leverage” for the players and a “major weapon in collective bargaining.” But it also could make it tougher to reach a deal. The 50-player faction is essentially demanding that the union make no more concessions. That means holding firm for a 52.5 percent share of league revenue — as the union has done so far — and rejecting any new restrictions on contracts and free agency. If the union compromises too far in either area, it could trigger the decertification drive. The mere threat could handcuff union officials at the bargaining table. Or, in theory, it could motivate the owners to compromise to avoid legal purgatory. If the union decertifies, its leadership would effectively be dismissed, giving the league no one to negotiate with, and no immediate possibility for a new collective bargaining agreement. “In terms of long-term or even short-term stability of the league, it’s obviously a huge setback if they go through with it,” Feldman said. “And that’s a big if.” Decertifying would require that 30 percent of the union — about 130 players — sign a petition, which would then trigger an election by the full membership, under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board. It would then take a simple majority to decertify. The player faction held two conference calls this week with an antitrust lawyer, on Tuesday and on Thursday, according to the person who had spoken with the group. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the effort. It was not clear whether the players had notified the union of the effort. Union officials did not immediately return calls Thursday night. The movement was said to be entirely player-driven, and borne of a frustration with the pace of negotiations. The players have been locked out since July 1, and a month of games have been canceled. Talks have broken off four times in the last five weeks. N.B.A. owners want a 50-50 split of revenue and have held firm to that position. The league is also pushing to eliminate certain salary-cap exceptions for teams that exceed the luxury-tax threshold. Those cap exceptions are viewed by players and agents as critical to a vibrant free-agent market. Their elimination would also trigger the decertification drive. There are other obstacles. The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the N.L.R.B., and the board traditionally will not consider a decertification petition while a charge is pending. Although the owners pre-emptively sued the union to block any attempt at dissolving, it would not apply in this case, Feldman said. That lawsuit covered only “disclaimer of interest” — in which union officials initiate the dissolution. It does not cover decertification, which is initiated by the players. “If there is a true coup of the union, then the nonunionized players have a much stronger argument that they should be entitled to bring an antitrust suit,” Feldman said. The hope for both sides, however, is that it never reaches that stage. The decertification effort became public just hours after union leaders held a news conference to reaffirm their unity, and to quash rumors of infighting. Union officials met for more than three hours on Thursday, mostly to formulate their bargaining strategy but in part to address the reports. Then they met with reporters, having literally and figuratively closed ranks. Derek Fisher, the union’s president, and Billy Hunter , its executive director, sat side by side at a conference table, flanked by five players from the executive board. Rifts were denied, reports rebutted and common goals reaffirmed. “Derek and I have an excellent relationship,” Hunter said. “The board, we’re all together. So if you’re all expecting anything other than that, you’re wasting your time.” The character testimonials became necessary after a FoxSports.com report alleging that Fisher had attempted to broker a private deal with Commissioner David Stern , without the union’s knowledge. The report, which cited an unnamed source, accused Fisher of making that deal for personal gain: the possibility of a future job in the league. Fisher called the report “libelous and defamatory” and demanded a retraction. On Thursday, he was asked directly whether he had, as reported, promised Stern that he could get the union to agree to a 50-50 split of revenue. “No, I did not,” Fisher said. Fisher said a secret deal was impossible on its face. The union president is not empowered to make unilateral decisions. The nine-man executive board must sign off on any proposed labor deal, which would then be submitted to the 30 team representatives before going to a vote of the full membership. Conspiracy theories aside, the brutal negotiating process has strained the relationship between Fisher and Hunter. Fisher, according to people in contact with the union, believes a 50-50 arrangement could be considered, if the union wins on certain other issues. Hunter is said to be adamant about staying at 52 percent or higher. “I’ve never attached myself to a particular percentage,” Fisher said. Hunter took a more strident stance. “My position,” he said, “is I don’t think there should ever be a circumstance where owners make the same or more than the players.”
    Posted by puddinpuddin[/QUOTE]

    Trouble in paradise!!

    So, owners shouldn't make the same or more than the players?  WOW!!  What a ridiculous comment to make!
     
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    Re: Never trust the New York Times

    More trouble:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7190096/nba-hope-bleak-labor-talks-sources-say

     

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