That’s a bit disingenuous, Mr. Fisher. After all, there’s a difference between the words “can’t” and “won’t.” That’s why they both exist – so we can say what we really mean. Granted, you have a job to do; I don’t begrudge you that, and I certainly don’t envy trying to keep so many disparate parts together at a negotiating table.

The fact of the matter, though, is that you won’t go any lower than that. And that’s fine – really. You have your principles and your desires that you must abide by. Stick to your guns. Stay the course. Hell, you’ve been the king of euphemisms, idioms and metaphors so far, so you pick which one best suits you.

Because you and your charges (and the owners – mostly the owners, really, but we’re not talking about them right now) won’t give back anymore to the owners, we’ll likely miss at least the start of the regular season. We – you – don’t know when the next labor meeting will be, which hints at the fact that we’ll likely not know when the regular season will begin for some time. It may be a month or two months, as Billy Hunter said, until we get another labor meeting.

I don’t blame you for the lockout, Mr. Fisher, and I applaud your stewardship of the union through these tough and troubling times. The letters you’ve sent to your players have been evenhanded and rational – two adjectives lacking in the labor talks since April. It is, as Hunter said in answering whether or not the owners’ offer was insulting, business. Negotiations are a brutal affair, and you’re not exactly bargaining with the fairest of adversaries across the table. They know what they want and they know how to get it. They are trying to break you, even more than you are trying to break them, so I cannot fault you for the failure and the fallout.

I simply wish you (and everyone) would say what you mean.

Photo by stephenphampshire via Flickr

Andrew Lynch

When God Shammgod created the basketball universe, Andrew Lynch was there. His belief in the superiority of advanced statistics and the eventual triumph of expected value-based analytics stems from the fact that he’s roughly as old as the concept of counting. With that said, he still loves the beauty of basketball played at the highest level — it reminds him of the splendor of the first Olympics — and the stories that spring forth from the games, since he once beat Homer in a game of rock-paper-scissors over a cup of hemlock. Dude’s old.