Players to set strategy in conference call
The National Basketball Players Association has a conference call scheduled for Monday.
Matt Bonner, a member of the NBPA’s executive board, said the union will weigh its options in the wake of an ultimatum handed down by NBA owners following Saturday’s latest negotiating session.
Among the possibilities the players will consider is decertifying as a union – a tactic employed by the NFL Players Association in the recent NFL labor negotiations.
NBA commissioner David Stern presented the league’s latest offer and told the players they have until Wednesday afternoon to accept the deal.
The owners proposed a 50-50 split of basketball-related income and stricter spending and free-agent limits. Stern said if the players don’t agree to the current offer, the owners will replace it with a 53-47 split of profits and a flex-cap that would place a hard cap on payrolls.
Bonner said the proposal was not much different from previous offers, and added that every member of the executive committee have agreed unanimously to reject it.
Federal mediator George Cohen participated in Saturday’s lengthy talks, giving the players hope that they could reach an agreement.
“The way we saw of saving the season and getting a deal was by saying the system was more important to us, BRI more important to them; we can compromise on BRI if they can come more to us on the remaining system issues,” Bonner said. “That’s what we were hoping would get a deal and we really thought the approach we took was going to get it done.
“But when George came back after taking our offer to the owners, what he came back with was five or six changes in system things, and all but one were what the owners wanted. It was basically their deal.”