Friday’s Labor Talks Yield Little Progress
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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Expanded negotiating sessions over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement featuring 21 players and 12 owners took place Friday afternoon in New York City and while the both sides seemed to be more positive than previously, minimal progress is being reported. The two sides met for nearly four and a half hours before agreeing to resume talks Saturday morning at 10 am.
At the conclusion of the meetings both sides spoke to the media separately. Both appeared please with the other’s desire to make a deal, which has rarely been the case over the last two years, but the fact remains that there is a lot to work out before a deal gets completed.
“We can’t continue to go down any path without making sure it’s a fair way to go,” said NBA players’ association president Derek Fisher.
Fisher also stated that the tone of discussions were contentious at times, most notably when the star players in attendance like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were ready to leave over the owners’ lack of movement, and that no new proposals were exchanged.
The most pertinent information of the day came from league commissioner David Stern, who revealed some of the details of the owner’s future revenue sharing plans. He said that the plan will quadruple from $60 million a year in year three after tripling in the first two years. He also added that the sharing will quadruple every year forward from year three.
The talk of the entire season being cancelled if a deal is not reached by the weekend’s end was also adamantly shot down by Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver. They confirmed that talks will continue through next week if necessary, but that stances will start to harden once regular season games are missed.
Depending on the direction of Saturday’s critical negotiating session, another meeting could be scheduled for Sunday. By this weekend, though, we should know whether or not we’re going to have a full 82-game season or the rest of the calendar year field with more meetings and no basketball.