The money is about to start piling up.
Up until now, the costs of the lockout have been largely theoretical to the NBA owners and players (not so much the staff of the teams, but that’s another story). But the loss of the NBA preseason will cost the owners about $200 million, league officials said Tuesday.
If NBA regular season games get canceled — as David Stern said would happen next Monday — then the players would start losing money in the form of lost pay.
To figure out how much farther each side will go, you have to quantify how much they would lose by canceling the first two weeks of the regular season. For the players, it’s $200 million — $140.6 million for the 301 players under contract, plus an estimated $53.7 million for the 129 free agents, $4.4 million for the 30 first-round picks and $1.2 million for the 30 second-round picks, based on calculations provided by a front office executive.
So the owners will lose $200 million, the players can lose $200 million, and suddenly this sounds like a crazy Cold War “mutually assured destruction” scenario.
Level heads can solve this situation. Berger lays out a reasonable plan. But he also has this fantastic quote.
“You have a reasonable idea,” a person connected to the negotiations said. “But you’re not dealing with reasonable people.”