NBA marathon talks last 15 hours
NBA owners and locked-out players held a marathon negotiating session Wednesday – and essentially Thursday morning – after meeting for more than 15 hours in New York City.
It was the first face-to-face talks between the sides since negotiations broke down last Thursday. NBA commissioner David Stern, who missed the last session with the flu, rejoined the discussions.
CBSSports.com, citing a source involved in the talks, reported that any progress made involved “small moves.”
There is still hope for an 82-game schedule, although neither side divulged how that is possible or even the progress made toward that goal.
Last week, the sides met for 30 hours over three days in the presence of a federal mediator. The talks accomplished little, as mediator George Cohen stepped away from the proceedings and the union accused the owners of lying to the media.
SheridanHoops.com reported Wednesday that the owners have removed their precondition of a 50-50 split of BRI before addressing other issues. That precondition led to the dissolution of last week’s session and the ensuing harsh words.
The lockout began July 1 and already has forced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season. There was a report that two more weeks of regular season games would be canceled Tuesday, but the NBA took no such action.
The sides have been unable to agree on two major issues – the split of basketball-related income and the system under which teams will do business.
Reports early last week said the players would accept 52 percent of BRI and the owners would accept 49 percent, leaving the sides about $85 million to $90 million apart on the division of over $4 billion in annual revenue. The players had been receiving 57 percent of BRI from 2005 until the last CBA expired in June.
Also, the union has been diametrically opposed to anything other than a “soft” salary cap, while the owners want a system with a highly punitive luxury tax that the union says serves as a “hard” cap.