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Ken Berger on D&C: NBA owners ‘want the players crushed and brought to their knees’ 07.01.11 at 10:36 am ET
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CBS Sports’ Ken Berger called in to Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the NBA lockout. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Berger said the key difference between the CBA negotiations in 1998 and 2011 is “a groundswell now of support among the owners to fundamentally change the sport.”

“That was not the case in the ’98-99 lockout,” Berger said. “The owners wanted cost-certainty, now they want to be guaranteed profit. They essentially want the players crushed and brought to their knees.”

While Berger said that the two biggest issues in these negotiations are profit-splits and the hard-cap, he also criticized the NBA owners for misrepresenting their profitability to justify their position.

“I don’t want to say that the owners are lying, or committing accounting fraud, or anything like that,” Berger said. “But as anybody knows, anybody who’s ever done a tax return or opened a lemonade stand, you know that you can make the numbers say whatever you want them to say.

“They are clearly massaging the figures so that certain expenses … are counted on their books as money going out the door year after year, when it’s not really money going out the door.”

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