Why the Pacers need this thing fixed . . .

 >Here is the problem: The owners are concerned with the future of the league. Namely, competitive balance. The way they get that is to institute penalties for luxury tax paying teams. What does that mean? It means that the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, and every other big-market team that spends big money on superstars, will be punished by not allowing those teams to fill out their rosters with midlevel players. Plus, if they add more tax for every dollar over the luxury tax, it will, in theory, discourage teams from over spending to get a championship. It's not really a hard cap because those teams can still pay, but it will be expensive. That means that other players will have to sign with smaller-market teams. The players don't like that because they say it limits their movement and earning potential.

Well, yes, because the players are stacking the deck against small-market teams by going to big-market teams (what Miami did last season, but not Miami; James, Bosh, and Wade). Those players had no concern about the integrity of the league's competitive balance. They manipulated system to determine the outcome, or they tried.

That is why the owners are not going to budge on the system issues, because if they continue as they are, the players have too much ability to manipulate the system (the thought of Chris Paul going to N.Y. should convince you that the system is broken). You see? This is not about money. It's about the system. The owners want integrity for competitive balance, but the players want the system issues to manipulate the system for money.

The owners are concerned about the future of their product. They're trying to to fix the system so that small-market teams have a chance to compete for the championship, too. In other words: the owners care about the integrity of their product, just like any business person cares about their product.

The players don't give a heck about any of that. They're only looking at this through money eyes, and that's why there's no deal.

The players can't get past the idea of doing a tit-for-tat deal. If the players give on the BRI split, then they want the system issues to go their way. If the players give in on the system issues, then they want the BRI to go their way.

This situation cannot work on a tit-for-tat bases. The system is broken for the small-market teams. And saying to Michael Jordan, "if you can't make a profit, then sell the team." It doesn't work that way because the next owner will be in the same predicament. There is no answer for small-market teams to "compete" with the system as it is now.

Now, the agents will say that the league should go to profit sharing so that small-market teams won't go broke. But, that is only half of the problem with the current system. The real problem is the inability of small-market teams to compete for the championship. And profit sharing by the owners doesn't address that at all. It only puts money into the small-market teams to keep them from losing money. But, owners aren't in this business for only making money. They're in this business to win championships for their cities, too. And that's why profit sharing by the league doesn't address the broken system. The small-market teams still can't compete with the big-market teams if the penalties for luxury tax paying teams isn't increased.

The agents and players don't care about all that. They're only looking at this through their greedy money eyes.

The owners are trying to improve the product by creating competitive balance, and that's why they the owners won't budge on the system issues.

The owners will void all contracts before they budge on the system issues. The owners are frustrated because they can't get this message through the uneducated brains of the players.

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