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The players seem not to care about public opinion living in a world of other players, hangeroners, agents that tell them how stupendous they are.
One more thing about this. There are hundreds of players, there is no way they're all going to play the PR game perfectly, especially when so many are so young and have easy access to social media where they can broadcast their unedited thoughts. There are only 29 owners and they're far more skilled in PR and the media world so it's no surprise that they're going to appear to the public more united.
None of that means the players are spoiled, or stupid or crazy, or wrong. Just by nature a larger group will have more fractions and less unity.
There are only 29 owners and they're far more skilled in PR and the media world so it's no surprise that they're going to appear to the public more united.
More than that, when's the last time you heard an owner talk about the lockout? Oh yeah, that was MJ, and he got a 100k fine for his pains. So as far as public perception is concerned, the owners ARE united, since Stern/Silver are the only spokesmen.
The players should just shut up, but unfortunately there's no one to enforce that on them.
so are the players fighting for something other than money here and if so can the owners tap into that give the players what they want and get their 50-50 split??
It's all about the money for the players (and owners too), but not necessarily the aggregate split. The "system" issues are about how that money is distributed, and that is a complicating factor.
For the elite players, the system doesn't matter much - they'll continue to get max contracts whatever the cap system. So for them, the BRI split (which dictates the size of max contracts) is the main concern.
For the middle tier of players, the system is of great concern. These players tend to get long and lucrative deals through exceptions like the Bird and the Mid-level, so any move towards a hard cap is likely to hurt them.
For the rookie and minimum type of players, neither the system nor the BRI split are of great concern, since their salaries are already predetermined. However, most of these players aspire to become middle tier themselves, so I think they will be concerned with system issues as well.
If you listen carefully to the NBPA's statements, you'd realize that they're ready to do a 50-50 split if they can keep the current soft cap system. The owners though contend that a harder system is necessary for competitiveness, and for that the players are asking for a 53-47 split in their favor.