The NBA's best offer is on the table. It hasn't improved a whole lot from where it was a week ago, but they've essentially laid all their cards on the table. Take it or leave it by Wednesday, after Wednesday the offers get worse. This bold negotiating tactic has elicited a ton of tough talk from Jeffrey Kesler and Derek Fisher, but should their bruised egos and reactionary quotes signify more than a ton of hot air?
Personally, I don't think so. These negotiations have been going on long enough. This entire season is about to go up in flames, it's time for the union's leadership to basically admit defeat. We're on the precipice of a lost season. This deal, the one the NBA has on the table for another 72 hours or so, is the absolute best Fisher, Kessler and Hunter could negotiate. It's time for the union to decide if it's good enough, or if they're going to go an entire year without a pay check.
Obviously, no one knows how a pure vote would go at this point, but I have to believe the current deal would have at least as much support as a vote to decertify. We've heard an awful lot from the union's negotiators (who have failed miserably), and from the most vocal members of the union (a group comprised of guys who have either made a large fortune already in their careers, or who are still extremely young, and looking at big paydays in the near future, or who are just nincompoops like Spencer Hawes), these people are vocal, but do they represent the majority? Given the choice between a less-than ideal deal right now that would turn the money spigot back on, or losing a huge percentage of their lifetime earnings, how many silent members of this union are going to choose the latter?
It's time for the union to face facts, their leadership has absolutely failed them. Derek Fisher should be replaced as the president of the union, Billy Hunter and Jeffrey Kessler should be fired. It may have been an uphill battle, but it was their job to get the best possible deal for the union prior to this point. If it isn't good enough, they should be gone. Either way, every member of that union should be screaming for a vote right now. It's time for them to make a decision and the only thing worse than a lost season would be if it was lost without the actual players having a say one way or the other.