Kobe Bryant attends players union meeting
For Kobe Bryant, Monday's players union meeting that began at 9 a.m. EST very well could prove to be another version of Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
In both scenarios, it remained unclear who would come out on top. And it's unknown whether the players union will accept the league's proposal for a 50-50 split in basketball-related income and numerous system issue tweaks mostly tilted toward the owners' favor. But for those hoping that the players union will simply cave in for the sake of salvaging part of the 2011-2012 season, it's good news that Bryant's in the building. He's reportedly is in the minority of elite players who want the union to accept a 50-50 split. It's likely the most prominent and most vocal players in the room will affect how the union proceeds.
Bryant's motivation for securing a deal, no matter how tilted it is toward the owners, reflects his realization that time's ticking away on his career. A lost 2011-2012 season takes away a big opportunity for him to add a sixth championship ring. Besides, as The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported, Bryant's three-year, $83.5 million contract would not be rolled back, according to a league official, because the new collective bargaining agreement would affect only new contracts.
Still, NBA fans have never cared about the financial motivations on either side during this negotiations. All they care about is whether they will get to see an NBA season. Having Bryant in the room at least improves the chances of that happening.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo credit: Mark D. Smith / US Presswire