NBA Commissioner is back on his media tour bus… in a metaphorical sense. Stern wouldn’t actually get on a bus. But he is doing a lot of media interviews right now as he spins his side of the ugly lockout story and essentially tries to talk to the players directly about taking the deal on the table.
“I refuse to contemplate it or discuss because we are going to make a deal. (Host: So you’re confident?) Unlike any other deal, if I don’t bid enough for your house you don’t have to sell it to me. Or if you ask too much I don’t have to buy it. Our players, there’s going to be a deal. The only question is how much damage is done to the game and our fans and the people who work in our industry before we make that deal.”
He’s right, there will be a deal someday. It’s vintage Stern in that it’s a great quote and headline, but it’s meaning is vague. Besides, to make a deal would require the two sides actually sitting down and meeting, and as of this writing no talks are scheduled.
Stern also talked about the pressure from hardline owners who thought he has already given up too much. Those owners may not make up a majority, but they make up a significant enough minority that Stern has to keep them happy. And, Stern is happy to use them as leverage against the union as well (“take this nice deal I’m offering you or I will have to release the hounds”).
I still think the biggest goal in all of the media stops is to talk over the heads of Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher and the union leadership to pressure the rank and file players on taking the deal. To try and force a groundswell of players willing to take the deal that the union can’t ignore.
He’s smart, that Stern.
That said, nobody is making a deal if they don’t sit down together and have a meeting.