It’s almost Friday, which means this week’s run of labor negotiations has come to naught. John Clayton, the ESPN analyst who last week said he was “98% sure” a deal would get done this week, has joined 98% of his fellow “analysts” in proving himself wrong, wrong, wrong about the lockout.
The reports today suggest that both sides are now “closer” to coming to an agreement on the rookie wage scale, but as of yet there is still no agreement and no verifiable proof that we are any closer to a finalized CBA than we were back in March. Sorry to be the downer here, but somebody needs to counteract all the Claytons of the world and bring everyone back down to Earth a little bit. There is no deal yet, and there probably won’t be for at least a week.
Even if both sides were to agree to everything tomorrow in principle, the legal teams will still need to pick through with a fine tooth comb and come up with a legally valid document for both to sign. This will take a while. Then all the owners and players who haven’t been a part of the negotiations will need to have their lawyers look at it and finally sign it themselves, which will also take a little while.
My point is that, as of right now, we have no reason to be celebrating. Unless, like me, you take a little bit of joy out of watching “analysts” like Clayton proving themselves wrong on national T.V. and then trying to continue on as if nothing ever happened.