According to ESPN, Players Association executive director Billy Hunter says the 2011-12 NBA season will likely be canceled entirely because the commissioner’s negotiating leeway is in danger of being undermined by a group of hard-line owners.
“The circumstances have changed among [David Stern’s] constituency,” Hunter told a group of lawyers Wednesday, as quoted in the Baltimore Sun. “In the last six or seven years, there is a new group of owners to come in who paid a premium for their franchises, and what they’re doing is kind of holding his feet to the fire.”
Hunter told an American Bar Association conference that if he “had to bet on it”, he would wager that there will be no NBA season.
“We’re $800 million apart per year,” Hunter said Wednesday, adding, “something has to happen that both of us can use as leverage to save face.”
NBA owners and players held a formal collective bargaining session for the first high-level negotiations in a month Monday but after nearly three hours of discussions the sides emerged as far apart as they were when the day began. Stern said the sides were “at the same place” as they were when the lockout began July 1 just before the old collective bargaining agreement ran out.
Read the complete article on ESPN.