This was the game that changed the league – forever.
The League does not agree to give the players fifty percent of Basketball Related Income because it is the right thing to do: it does so because the Players Association forces it to. The Players Association does not agree to extra playoff games in the early rounds because of the soundness of the League’s explanation: it agrees because it must.
As the League and Players Association formally meet for the second time, the horse-trading is set to begin. What does each side need, and what will they pay for it? What will each side refuse to give, and what will they pay for that refusal? It starts with package proposals, presented with eloquent, detailed, powerful explanations — explanations that end up being mostly meaningless.
The Players’ Association negotiators reconvene as a team shortly after the initial session. The Chief Negotiator will choreograph this meeting, eliciting the opinions of those reluctant to speak, while curtailing the opinions of those too eager to speak. Every person in the room is annoyed, and their annoyance level is inversely proportional to the number of times they’ve previously been on a negotiation team.