Durant: Owners have to come halfway
NBA superstar Kevin Durant said Saturday night that the owners are not trying to meet the players halfway in their collective bargaining sessions.
Speaking to reporters after an exhibition game in Washington between NBA stars from the nation’s capital and Philadelphia, Durant said the players already have “sacrificed a lot” in their willingness to reach an agreement.
“They got to meet us at some point,” said Durant, the NBA scoring champion who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I feel like (the owners) aren’t helping us out – they’re not trying meet us halfway with it.”
The union has come down from its previous take of 57 percent of basketball-related income to 53 percent but has shown an unwillingness to move further. The owners are seeking a deal with a 50-50 split that the union rejected.
There also are disagreements on contract length, guaranteed income and the salary cap system used. The sides are meeting separately Monday in New York with a federal mediator before Tuesday’s crucial meeting with each other in the presence of the mediator.
The lockout is well into its fourth month. The NBA already has canceled the first two weeks of the season.
“The way the meetings (have) been going, it’s just so slow,” Durant said. “Us as players, we bring in a lot of the money. Hopefully we come to an agreement, but we got to stand firm.”