It's now past 5PM eastern time and Stern is still meeting with the union. Not clear who is in the meeting with Stern and Hunter, but anyway, I have a prediction on how this plays out and wanted to post it here in case it happens and makes me look smart.
Around midnight, the sides will emerge and Stern and Hunter will hold a joint press conference. The place will be buzzing! Stern will take the mike first. He'll smile, but when he starts talking, his face will look somber.
Stern: As a result of our meeting today, I put some concessions out there that addressed some of the unions concerns, and Billy was able to move some toward me. We agreed that we, as two people, would see what kind of deal we could come to, and we agreed that once we came to it, we'd take it to our sides and put it to a vote.
That said, under the circumstance, neither of us has a high level of confidence that our respective sides will vote to accept it, but it is what it is.
Hunter: I want to thank Mr. Stern for working together with me on this. We felt we owed it to basketball fans to make one last attempt, one last stand. But as Commissioner Stern has said, I don't believe it's likely that the players will vote to ratify it. Even if they do, the owners may not ratify it either. I would not say this is a good deal for the players, but it's one that we mutually agreed we'd put to our sides for a vote. So we're not out of the woods yet.
Hahn: Commissioner Stern! Would you say that you've lost control of your owners?
Stern: I don't know that I've ever had control of them. I work for the NBA and the franchise owners. It's my job to guide this league in a way that can be lucrative for them in the long term. I share the opinion, with all the owners that the current system needs to change or the league could be in trouble. The amount of that change is a matter of opinion. My opinion matters, as does the opinions of the 30 owners. And of course those vary but we need to find a deal that we can all agree to ratify. Nothing the players have submitted to us so far has fulfilled that requirement and I'm not sure if this does, but we'll see.
Isola: Commissioner Stern! Would you say that you've lost control of your owners?
Stern: Frank, I'm Commissioner Stern - that's Billy Hunter, head of the union. And I just answered that question.
Sheridan: Billy, would you say that this deal is an ultimatum from you and Commissioner Stern to the players and the owners?
Hunter: Uh... What? Look, I'm tired. No more questions. We'll talk to you tomorrow.
Stern; HE SAID NO MORE QUESTIONSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Berman (to Hahn); Did his eyes just turn red for a second there?
Hahn: How many times have I told you, Berman... Don't use me as a source!