The extra 3 percent

Monday may very well be the most important day on the 2011-12 NBA calendar.

After all, if it doesn’t go well, there may be no 2011-12 season, at least not one that starts on time.

NBA commissioner David Stern has said he will cancel the first two weeks of the season if the framework of an agreement isn’t in place by Monday, and from there it’s very possible that both sides’ stances will only harden.

According to an ESPN report, the biggest issue remains how the two sides will split Basketball Related Income. Last season players got 57 percent of BRI. The players have offered to take 53 percent of BRI, whereas the owners are fighting for a 50/50 split.

Sources in the ESPN article said Sunday’s negotiating session focused more on system issues like “the specific salary-cap and luxury-tax mechanisms” rather than the BRI split.

The two sides have scheduled a 2 p.m. bargaining session that will determine whether games will be missed.

Players are also expected to engage in a widespread Twitter campaign involving sending out “Let us Play”-themed tweets to engender public support.

Monday is guaranteed to be a crucial day in these negotiations. There has been some thought that some owners want to “break” the players once they start missing paychecks, but overall all sides likely would want to do everything possible to avoid the collateral damage that goes along with missing games.

One way or another Monday will be a monumental day in NBA labor history.

Suns #SocialSideline auditions due Monday as well

The Phoenix Suns will be hiring the NBA’s first-ever social media sideline reporter this month, and auditions for this exclusive position are due Monday.

As I detailed two years ago, the Suns have been setting the pace for professional sports organizations in social media since it became mainstream, and this is the next step.

According to the application form, “This unique position will play an exciting new role in the team’s home-game broadcasts on@FoxSportsAZ and @ArizonaSports620, as well as the experience at @USAirwaysCenter. The new game-night personality will provide quick social media updates, giving fans a voice within the broadcasts and in-arena presentation, and will also interact with the Suns’ followers throughout the game on Twitter.”

I’ve been impressed with some of the audition videos I’ve seen and look forward to seeing the fan the Suns choose to augment their in-game social efforts.

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