This lockout is going to end when the two sides decide the pain of taking the deal on the table is less than the pain of the lockout. That pain just gets worse as things go along (especially if games, and with it revenue and paychecks, are lost).
That is particularly true of the players. The owners have the means to hold out longer, and there are hardline guys (new owners who paid more for their franchises and were more leveraged to get there) willing to take a lot of pain for what they see as long-term rewards. The pain hits the players harder.
But the players this time around are more unified now than they were in 1998, according to Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison. And that should worry you because that lockout cost the league half a season.
“You had guys saying one thing and you had other guys going behind their back and saying another thing,” Jamison said. “The owners knew then they eventually would buckle….
“I think in ’98-99, we didn’t think it would be a long, drawn out process,” Jamison said after speaking to children at a school in his hometown. “Just the unity, the guys understanding what we’re facing and what we’re up against is totally different than what it was when I first got into the league….
“You’ve got the LeBron Jameses and the Dwyane Wades and all those guys who are really taking a stand and being a face of this movement,” Jamison said. “I think back then we really didn’t have the superstars that were together as the superstars are now. I think it’s making a difference.”
Honestly, I try to optimistic about this lockout ending before games are lost. But some things really test that faith. These comments are among them, because if the players are really unified and their heels are dug in, this is going to drag out longer than I want to think about.