Reason 14,982 why the NBA has not negotiated in good faith with its players? They've set to attempting to "negotiate" with the players union with a mediator present over the last week, knowing full well that they've already given two NBA arenas the go-ahead to reschedule suddenly open dates on former NBA game nights to give to concerts and other events.
Yes, Virginia. The NBA owners never had any interest in playing any games before Christmas. Ever, ever, ever.
(OK, maybe they do have some interest. It's been a rough week.)
But let it be known that the league already has taken another game off the schedule. The Lakers' still-scheduled Dec. 13 home game against the Toronto Raptors will not happen under any circumstances then and there.
That's because the NBA has already allowed Staples Center to vacate its commitment to the Lakers that day and schedule an extra date of the Jay-Z and Kanye West concert tour.
According to a statement from the NBA: "With the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season, the NBA schedule would have to be reworked and certain dates — including Dec. 13 for a Lakers game at Staples Center — would not be part of any revised schedule."
Actually, it's two additional NBA games already on the move, because the league did the same thing to accommodate another Jay-Z and Kanye show at Chicago's United Center on Nov. 30, when the Bulls are currently scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs.
Ding points out that the "go ahead and schedule stuff" edict from the NBA wouldn't really make much of a difference to arenas this late in the game, because any facility holding 20,000-plus seats would have any show or act that could fill those seats booked months and months (and not just two months) in advance.
Both Kevin and Matt concede that it is possible that those games, those specific games, were taken off the schedule to accommodate the possibility of a hurried-up schedule that would be the result of an agreement that could save the final two weeks of November's schedule, or a season that started sometime in the first two weeks of December.
I concede that, yes, this is probably the best and the most likely take on things. And they're doing their job in pointing this out to you, and I'm doing my job in pointing their points to you within this forum.
The cynic in me is doing his job by pointing out that the NBA wants a 50/50 Basketball Related Income split with massive penalties for luxury taxed teams and massive rollbacks on the way teams out-spend the salary cap to sign their own players (you know, for continuity and fan bases and team chemistry and all in a sport with just five to a side), and they never really wanted a compromise. They wanted to destroy the union on its way toward getting what it wanted, while throwing a bone to the major market teams that would stand to lose untold millions by way of a canceled half or full season.
So, let's compromise. Best case scenario for the start of a new season? Dec. 15? Just in time for Los Angeles to enjoy Kanye and Jay-Z, and make me look like a fool for suggesting a Dec. 25 start.
After all, why let anyone else who works within or without the NBA look like a fool? Don't we have enough of those already?