Philadelphia, PA – Time to bring out the big guns.
Nearly five months of negotiations during the NBA lockout have resulted in nothing but acrimony between the owners and players. So, after 144 days of watching each side play a reckless game of "chicken" with stupefying public relations results, KFC is hoping its Original Recipe will bring everyone back to the table.
The national fast-food chain is offering to speed up the negotiating process by bringing both sides back together with its chicken. If the owners and players name the time and place, Col. Sanders and Company will deliver a "10 Peace Offering" of their Original Recipe to cater their talks.
The brand, and it is simply KFC these days (remember fried is a dirty word now), is asking the public to get behind the offer by visiting the company's Facebook page to sign a petition showing their support for "bringing back the buckets this season."
Knowing these two groups, however, it's safe to assume there will be a hold-up for extra crispy just to be difficult and tick off a dwindling fan base even further. Extreme hardliners -- I'm looking at you Michael Jordan -- will probably call for Chik-fil-A or Popeyes just to muck everything up.
Levity aside, another and far more serious plea for common sense came from Michael H. Goldberg, the executive director of the NBA Coaches Association.
Goldberg penned an open letter in Sports Illustrated to both sides asking for the two sides to resume talks -- chicken or no chicken -- "and figure this thing out."
"We all need to concede that the NBA does not operate in a financial bulletproof bubble," Goldberg wrote. "After months of discussion, it has become apparent that a solution to the current situation means sacrifice and change. The parties have moved in that direction. Now is not the time to step back and harden positions. Litigation and the "courts" are not the answer -- been there and done that.
"Let the parties have the courage to make a deal, even if it requires taking some risks and accepting the unpalatable for the short term, so as to ensure that going forward there will be a viable and robust NBA business, one that is able to withstand the current financial environment and further prosper."
Goldberg is far from the first to advocate rationality or reasonableness so its more than likely his declaration, like so many others, will fall on deaf ears.
If chicken or lucid thinking isn't the answer perhaps the specter of injury will bring the owners and players to the senses.
Former Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent and was in line for a big pay day if the NBA ever resumes, suffered a knee injury in his first game for his Chinese team, Zhejiang. The severity of the injury is not known but it highlights the risks for players considering a jaunt overseas, especially without insurance.
Can you imagine if a Deron Williams came up lame in Turkey or if Kevin Durant says yes to Bayreuth and blows out a wheel in Germany? Heck, LeBron, D-Wade and 'Melo risk it all, both financially and athletically, every time they lace 'em up for a charity game.
Sanity certainly needs a jumpstart in this process, be it from chicken, lucid thinking or fear. The NBA's owners and players can take their pick.