Remember when we said there wouldn’t be a vote? Yeah, that’s what it looked like right up until about 1AM EST Saturday night. Then SI.com dropped a column with direct comment from Billy Hunter. The union’s going to vote on the proposal. Kind of.
When reached on Saturday night, however, Hunter told SI.com that his intention was to have the player representatives vote on a revised version of the NBA’s latest proposal before moving forward.
“We will vote on the NBA’s proposal,” Hunter wrote in a text message. “The proposal will be presented with some proposed amendments.”
This is a predictable, previously-mentioned, and pretty smart move on the players’ part. You vote on the proposal, but you throw in the adjustments that would make it swallowable. If it passes, you’ve got enough to keep negotiating, and if the NBA won’t schedule talks, you just volley this back on them. If they want to blow things up after the union’s made a response, that’s on them. For the record, I think they’re fine with that and will torch the season anyway, but this at least gets the union off of looking like they’re the ones choosing not to play.
If the measure doesn’t pass, then they know they’re too far away to even keep talking, they decertify or disclaim interest, go to the courts, and torch the season anyway.
You may be sensing a trend here.
It’s “the season will get torched.”
There’s a narrow possibility that the league will consider the concessions the union asks them to be minor enough that they say “fine, just accept it, let’s take the win and go home.” Since the league has had this option about thirty times and keeps saying “MOAR, WE WANT MOAR WINZ, ALL WINZ FOR UZ!” I don’t see it happening. But it’s a possibility. If the owners really don’t care about public sentiment, then they won’t care about looking like they bent.
So, yeah, like we said. Monday’s it.