NBA players call NBA’s offer unacceptable
Following a meeting with its rank-and-file Tuesday, the National Basketball Players’ Association on Tuesday said the ultimatum delivered by NBA commissioner David Stern was unacceptable.
“Our orders are clear – right now the current offer that is on the table from the NBA is not one we can accept,” NBPA president Derek Fisher said.
Fisher said the union is willing to continue negotiating but stressed that without improvements in the latest offer by owners, “We don’t see a way to get a deal done between now and the close of business tomorrow evening.”
After negotiations broke down Saturday, Stern gave the union an ultimation: Accept the current offer that includes a 50-50 split of all basketball-related income by Wednesday at 5 p.m. or the league will pull the deal off the table while cancelling more games.
The owners said that if players decide not to accept the 50-50 split, they will revert to their initial offer of a 53-47 split of profits and a flex-cap that would place a hard cap on payrolls.
Union chief Billy Hunter said he will reach out to Stern either Tuesday night or Wednesday and seek another bargaining session.
“The players are clearly of the mind that it’s an unacceptable proposal,” Hunter said. “We’re prepared to negotiate objectively and fairly but we expect the same thing from our adversary.”
It has been rumored that the players are considering decertifying as a union, which would wind up in the courts, but Hunter said very little was mentioned on the topic during Tuesday’s session that included 43 players.
Hunter said decertification is “not a worthwhile endeavor” and not an avenue the players want to pursue.
Stern has already cancelled the first month of regular-season games due to the lockout, which is in its fifth month.
More games are expected to be cancelled Wednesday once the league-mandated 5 p.m. deadline passes without the players accepting the latest proposal.