Whip count: Which owners are good with 50/50 deal?
We’ve heard for a couple days that the owners remain a divided group — if the players accepted David Stern’s offer (which they did not, but the sides are talking again) the owners vote would be 16-13 in favor of the deal. (There are 29 owners because the league had to buy back the Hornets.) Whatever the case, the ball is in the owners’ court and they will decide if there is a season now.
So which owners are where.
Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Indiana, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Utah, and Washington.
For you scoring at home, that makes your 16 franchises in support of the deal:
Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas, Golden State, Houston, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio and Toronto.
A few quick thoughts:
• Yes, that means Dan Gilbert and Robert Sarver — the Cleveland and Phoenix owners respectively — have changed from hardliners to guys who want to see some hoops. We’d heard in recent days they might not be the hardliners we all thought, it appears they have seen the light.
• New Orleans, owned by the league, would vote with whatever Stern wants. With the majority.
• These lines are not hard and fast. For example, OKC is listed as a no but Royce Young of Daily Thunder said he has heard the Thunder will “go with the flow” because they are concerned that the lockout is damaging a new, young fanbase in a city known as football country, not basketball country.