NBA owners, players meeting Friday in NYC
NBA owners and players will meet Friday in New York – separately, then perhaps with each other – as the lockout reaches a critical threshold, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
The report comes on the same day that the sides are scheduled for a crucial negotiation session that could move them toward ending the lockout and reaching an agreement – or further entrenching themselves in a standoff that has reached three months.
According to the report, NBA commissioner David Stern and union chief Billy Hunter have asked some owners and players, respectively, to come to New York for a debriefing and maybe more.
Stern has called some owners for a meeting independent of the union, the report said. Hunter is assembling union executive committee members plus a handful of superstars including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James for his own meeting.
It is believed that whatever tone develops from Wednesday’s meeting will determine how each side approaches Friday’s meetings. If there is more progress toward an agreement, the sides could meet again.
But if there is no progress Wednesday, Friday’s meetings could be for Stern and Hunter to prepare their constituents for a postponement of the start of the season, which is scheduled for Nov. 1.
The opening of training camps have been postponed and first week of exhibition games canceled. Any more delays would make it unrealistic for a deal to be completed, an accelerated free agency period and an abbreviated training camp in order to start the season on time.