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Union says no signs of folding
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 15, 2011 @ 1:02 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
Are the NBA players ready to fold in their labor dispute with NBA owners?
According to Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee, the answer is yes – although McGee quickly denied making such a comment Friday and was ripped by NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher for doing so.
Speaking after a sparsely attended regional meeting of players in Los Angeles, Fisher said the union remains firm in its unity not to cave into owner demands.
Union chief Billy Hunter echoed those sentiments, saying he and Fisher were the “pacifists” in Friday’s meeting.
“These guys behind us happen to be extremely strident,” Hunter said. “They thought we were starting to weaken.”
McGee caused a stir when he left the meeting and told reporters: “There’s definitely some guys in there saying that they’re ready to fold, but the majority are willing to stand strong.”
While McGee attempted to claim he was misquoted, Fisher quickly dismissed his remarks.
“Look, let me say this,” Fisher said. “The person who spent the least amount of time in the room can’t make that statement. He’s in no position to make that statement on behalf of the group.”
The owners and players are scheduled to meet Tuesday with federal mediator George Cohen, who presided over negotiations during the NFL’s labor dispute.
Earlier this week, NBA commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season after the latest round of negotiations between owners and players failed to produce an accord.
It marks the league’s first work stoppage since 1998-99 when the schedule was reduced to 50 games. Opening night was scheduled for Nov. 1. Cancellations will include all games through Nov. 14.
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