NEW YORK (via Associated Press, ESPN) — With a month until the NBA season, players and owners don’t sound much closer to a labor deal than they did when the lockout began.
NBA Commissioner David Stern talks to the media after a 7-hour meeting, labor talks is set to resume later today.
They’re so far apart on money they decided to leave it alone Saturday and focused mainly on the salary cap.
They couldn’t solve that, either.
“I wouldn’t say there was any progress. What happened was, they put some concepts up, we put some concepts up, and we’re still miles apart,” union executive director Billy Hunter said. “There’s a huge bridge, gap, that I don’t know if we’re going to be able to close it or not.”
The sides will meet again later today — the day training camps were to have begun — though time is getting short to save the start of the regular season, scheduled for November 1. Neither side sounds optimistic.
As reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein, NBA commissioner David Stern is planning to threaten players with the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season if the sides haven’t made major progress toward a deal by the end of the weekend when NBA labor talks resume on Friday according to sources close to the talks.
Although sources said the union views such an extreme stance as more of a negotiating tactic than a legitimate threat, Stern went almost that far in his comments to reporters in New York on Wednesday after a second straight day of negotiations.
Referring to meetings scheduled Friday that are expected to attract as many as 15 owners and star players such as the Heat’s LeBron James, Stern said: “I’m focused on let’s get the two committees in and see whether they can either have a season or not have a season, and that’s what’s at risk this weekend.”
In 1998-99, the only season in NBA history in which regular-season games were lost to a work stoppage, no deal was reached until Jan. 6, 1999, with a 50-game season finally starting on Feb. 6, 1999.
NBA Players' Association President Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo via Express-News)
NEW YORK (via ESPN, Associated Press)— The long looks on players’ faces and the anger in Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver’s voice made it obvious: There was no progress Tuesday in talks to end the NBA lockout.
And with less than three weeks until training camps, the latest setback may be a tough one.
“I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can’t come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point,” players’ association president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said.
Still divided over the salary cap structure, owners and players decided to pass on talking again Wednesday, and no further meetings are scheduled at this point.
Officials from the NBA and the players’ union will meet again Wednesday in New York City, according to sources close to the situation.
San Antonio Spurs owner, Peter Holt will be one of the league representatives on Wednesdays' meeting about the NBA lockout.
The meeting will be only the third since the league locked out its players on July 1.
But if Wednesday’s meeting is productive, sources said the sides are expected to pick up the pace and come together again Thursday and perhaps Friday.
The meeting will include only a handful of representatives from each side, as was the case last week when the parties met for six hours.
Commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the owners’ labor relations committee, will represent the league. Union director Billy Hunter, counsel Ron Klempner and president Derek Fisher will attend for the players.
While the gulf between the two sides remains huge, sources say the tone of last week’s meeting was productive and provided at least a small degree of optimism that the season could be salvaged. With roughly two weeks remaining before training camps would have to be canceled, the sense of urgency to get a deal done has picked up on both sides.
The lockout is in full swing and many of us are already missing some NBA action, nonetheless for die-hard basketball fans, here are some news around the web.
- Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation reported that NBA commissioner David Stern remains optimistic that a deal between the players and owners can be hammered out before the season is cancelled.
Even after the league filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board last week to prevent a decertification, Stern told the Boston Globe he is hopeful a deal can be negotiated.
“I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive,” Stern told the Globe. “It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything we can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”
Stern’s words are a contrast from Players Association president Billy Hunter, who said that he expects the upcoming season will be lost.
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.
With NBA headlines full about some recent dismal labor talks and David Stern’s mega-buck salary being questioned by NBA players, I believe it’s refreshing to look at some beautiful faces from San Antonio.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2011-12 Spurs Silver Dancers!
(Photo via Spurs.com)
There’s another photo after the jump!
With no progress or significant news about the NBA lockout, Orlando Sentinel’s Shannon Owens shares this nice article.
Memo to David Stern, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher and the NBA stars – the public needs to hear from you.
If you’re like me, then maybe you’ve noticed the leaders in the labor negotiations have been eerily quiet. Even more peculiar is how silent the NBA stars have been when it comes to fighting against hard salary caps in the 2011 NBA lockout.
Stars like Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning were on the front lines for players in the 1998-99 lockout. But that clearly hasn’t been the case this time around.
The clock is ticking, the NBA is headed to deadline day, with perhaps one last chance to avoid a lockout.
NBA commissioner David Stern
Negotiators for owners and players will meet on Thursday, about 12 hours before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement and seemingly nowhere close to a deal.
The sides remain far apart on just about every major issue, from salaries to the salary cap, revenues to revenue sharing.
After meeting twice a week for most of the month, this is the only session scheduled this week. The two sides could continue bargaining past the deadline, but that probably requires owners to see evidence of the gap narrowing Thursday.
Otherwise, they could lock out the players for the first time since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games, though commissioner David Stern has refused to say what would happen if a deal is not done Thursday.
The effort seems there in the NBA labor talks. Time might not be.
Owners and players are scheduled to meet again Tuesday, a session that Commissioner David Stern indicated would be critical in gauging whether a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached before the current deal expires on June 30.
This will be at least the sixth meeting this month. After Friday’s 4½-hour session, both parties left believing the commitment to getting a deal done was there, yet unsure if there would be enough time to avoid a lockout.
“There’s a very clear sense of urgency, but we’re not sure between now and July 1 if we can make up the gulf that exists between the two sides,” players’ association president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers said Friday.
Although the league agreed last week to leave contract guarantees as is, major disagreements remain.
Players argue that the current system doesn’t need an overhaul. Owners disagree and seek a hard salary cap system and a reduction of contract lengths, all part of their desire to slash player costs by about one-third, about $750 million of the approximately $2.1 billion spent on player salaries and benefits last season.