Negotiations between the NBA and its Players Union continued into Tuesday, with the two sides reaching somewhat of a bitter standstill.
While there are many more system issues to work out, the breaking point at this time appears to be BRI, and the percentage each side stands to receive moving forward.
What does BRI stand for, you wonder? Basketball related income. This marks all of the money the league makes off not only ticket sales, but all of the "extra" stuff too. This includes national TV contracts, concession stand fees, parking fees, advertising, and more.
To their own credit, the two sides have worked diligently in an attempt to close the gap. The league was originally seeking a 61-39 split (61% for the owners, and 39% for the players), but have now come down to a 50-50 split suggestion, one they are adamantly standing by.
The players, who in their own right, are not backing down from a 53-47 (in the players' favor) split suggestion, reportedly feel as though the league is firmly standing by the 50-50 split demand because it believes the players will give in and agree once the beginning of the regular season is cancelled and people start losing paychecks.
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver has disputed this report, saying that the league views the 50-50 split as more of a "partnership" between the two sides.
The two sides will again come together on Monday, where if an agreement is not reached, the beginning of the season will be forced to be cancelled. Should this happen, the two sides are not expected to meet for a while after that.
This is where things stand at the moment. The question remains, does one side deserve more BRI than the other? The owners of the league, who as noted, began by asking for 61%, are credited, of course, with overseeing all operations (even if from a distance) to efficiently run a basketball team and make sure the franchise experiences success. In essence, the owners put a staff in place to bring the most talented and most appealing players to town.
That being said, isn't it that same mentioned talent who put fans in the seats? Don't the fans buy tickets to games, pay for parking, and once they arrive, purchase food to eat, all so that they can watch the big names of the NBA play basketball?
Isn't it the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant that make television viewers turn on ESPN or ABC while they sit at home to watch the excitement unfold?
It's clear that the players are the ones who draw attention and bring the excitement, but shouldn't the owners and the league itself get credit for creating the big picture and making things happen?
Sure, both sides deserve credit, but the debate as to who deserves more of it (if anyones) goes on. It will be interesting to see if the two sides can come to a mutual agreement, or if the league plans on using the potential loss of games (and player paychecks) as leverage.