Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 11/19/14

18 Mar 2000: Etan Thomas #33 of Syracuse University battles for position with Marvin Stone #24 and Souleymane Camera #40 of the University of Kentucky in round two of the Midwest Region of the 2000 NCAA Men''s Basketball Championship at the Goodman Arena at Cleveland State University Convocation Center in Cleveland, Ohio.<> Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

Unless the NBA’s latest ultimatum is a smoke screen designed solely to make the players fold, the NBA season is in serious jeopardy. A number of players have weighed in on the latest proposal, most of them describing a reaction similar to disgust, but those players may or may not have seen the full document.

One person who has? NBPA executive first vice president Etan Thomas. To say the least, Thomas does not think fondly of the NBA’s latest offer. Thomas wrote a guest article for ESPN.com, during which he more or less ran over the proposal with an 18-wheeler, backed up over it again, then dropped a grenade out the window to make sure that goddamn proposal would not survive.

Thomas called the proposal “awful.” He called it “worse than the proposal they gave us last week.” He said he has not met a single person who thinks it’s an acceptable deal. He said the proposed system functions as a hard cap. He said Michael Jordan’s presence at the negotiating table scares nobody. He said the proposed mid-level exception is so restricted, it’s ultimately useless. He said the players’ options are currently “a horrible deal now or a worse deal later,” and he said nobody should be surprised when the players take neither.

Sounds like no season, how u.

But Howard Beck of the New York Times obtained a copy of the proposal, too. Through what he called a side-by-side examination, Beck determined the new proposal is indeed better for the players than the last one, albeit not incredibly changed. He then called Adam Silver, who — surprise, surprise — defended the league’s proposal.

“It’s of grave concern to the league that there is an enormous amount of misinformation concerning our proposal,” Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner, said in a telephone interview Saturday night. “We believe that if the players are fully informed as to what is and is not in our proposal, they will agree that its terms are beneficial to them and represent a fair compromise.”

Of course, even if Beck’s position is correct and the new proposal is improved, slight movement on a few issues does not necessarily mean the players will accept the new proposal. To many of the players, accepting a poor deal is about far more than the money. Principles matter, too.

Thomas said the owners “want a bailout from their own mismanagement decisions.” He said the NBA doesn’t try to negotiate; it tells the players how things will be. He seconded Troy Polamalu’s opinion that this is bigger than millionaires fighting against billionaires: During the NFL lockout, Polamalu said, “The big business argument is, ‘I got the money and I got the power, therefore, I can tell you what to do.’ That’s life everywhere. I think this is a time when the football players are standing up saying, ‘No, no, no, the people have the power.’”

Thomas said the owners are equivalent to the “1%” that have inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement, and he said nobody should be surprised that Michael Jordan has become a hypocrite. “Why do people have difficulty understanding that he is no longer a player but currently joined at the hip with the rest of the CEOs of the NBA, who — like Bank of America, Wall Street and the rest of the 1 percent — not only want but expect a bailout for their own actions?” asked Thomas.

Tell us how you really feel, Etan. No need to hold back, sir.

David Stern, according to Thomas, has attempted to manipulate players through the media. I doubt you’ll find too many able-minded people to argue that premise. And that promise of a 72-game season if the proposal is accepted? It’s just to put pressure on the players. That deadline, after which the NBA will revert back to an incredibly inferior offer? It’s just to make the players fold. All these leaks, saying progress has been made, saying a deal is close, saying the league won’t consider a season less than 70 games, some of the leaks even coming from a close friend of Stern’s? They’re just to make the backlash greater if and when the players decide to reject the proposal.

What Stern should know better than anybody, what these blood-sucking owners need to realize, is that the NBA is, was and always has been a players league. Before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird became stars, playoff games were shown on tape delay. Then Michael Jordan took the league by storm, and Kobe Bryant carried the torch, and Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and a number of other stars made the league more profitable than ever. If the backlash against players, against the league, is substantial — and it will be if this lockout continues much longer — the league will suffer.

After already winning all the economic concessions they could reasonably expect, the owners are continuing the lockout based on a wild goose they call “parity.” The NBA says it’s chasing competitive balance, but that’s like chasing a ghost — according to studies, competitive balance in the NBA cannot be achieved by changing the league’s financial landscape. Even if the mid-level exception is restricted, luxury tax is heightened, and sign-and-trades are not allowed for taxpayers, there’s zero reason to believe any proposed changes will result in increased parity.

All of which brings us back to the title of this post: Is the NBA’s new proposal better or worse than the last one? Maybe the answer doesn’t matter. If the players still consider the most recent proposal awful, which their executive first vice president certainly does, whether it’s better than the last one means absolutely nothing.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’


Mike Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can play for Vikings or not at all

RG3 misses 'having fun playing football' after two tough seasons

Houston mayor's office weighs in on Kaepernick Instagram post

Dallas Cowboys using drones to tape practice sessions

LeBron James' manager is mentoring Johnny Manziel

Details emerge from McDonald's domestic violence arrest

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Propaganda season begins with SEC spring meetings

Indians support Aviles, ailing daughter by shaving heads

McIlroy will donate his winnings if he wins Irish Open

Carlos Gomez on tiff with Bumgarner: 'He's not my dad'

Are the Texas Rangers contenders or pretenders?

WATCH: IRS official zings FIFA with play on words

After sweep by Cavaliers, what's next for the Hawks?

Michigan DB Jabril Peppers tees off on NCAA on Twitter

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.