Owners have indicated a willingness to drop their insistence on a hard team salary cap in exchange for adjustments to the luxury tax system and key spending exceptions, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told CBSSports.com Tuesday night.
The offer by league negotiators came Tuesday in a brief, two-hour bargaining session that set the stage for what one source described as “an important day” on Wednesday.
“It’s put up or shut up time,” said the person, who is connected to the talks but spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.
It’s a scene familiar enough to warrant a Family Guy joke and a Facebook topic page: a dog tied up outside of a convenience store lies down and waits for its owner to finish his or her shopping. Each time the door opens and the annoying little bell dings, the dog leaps to its feet, tail wagging – for a false alarm.
Spin around three times, tuck the tail and lie back down. Rinse and repeat for the kid making the beer run, the underage high schooler carded for cigarettes “going back to the car for my ID,” and the middle-aged woman on her fourth run of scratch-off lottery tickets. Each time the door opens, get excited until the adrenaline wears off and the people walk away. Never get too disappointed – after all, the next time that door opens may be the right time.
This lockout has put NBA fans in the shoes (do Dog Martins exist yet? Get the makers of Kitten Mittens on the phone immediately!) of that tied-up dog. Each bit of good news makes our ears perk up, but we’ve yet to see the labor peace and return to normalcy for which we’re all truly waiting. We’ve received a pat on the head here or there, but most people walking in and out of those doors have treated us with contempt at best – when they’re not disregarding us completely, of course.
The owners are backing down on their insistence on a hard cap? Fantastic. For this beaten dog, any good news is a Shammgodsend, even if it comes from the same drunk patron who once spat on you.Â But the loss of real NBA games is right around the corner. I sure hope the right owner comes through that door soon.