SBD/Issue 221/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NBA, Players Union Hold First Talks Regarding New CBA

Fisher Says Both NBA, NBPA Officials
Seem To Be Trying To Do Right Thing
The NBA and NBPA held their first formal collective bargaining session for a new labor deal for more than three hours in N.Y. yesterday, in a meeting the two sides called "cordial and productive." The two sides in a joint statement said, "There was a preliminary exchange of financial information but no proposals were made. We both look forward to another meeting before the start of the season" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal). In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence reports NBA owners yesterday "continued to paint a bleak financial picture," using the meeting to "potentially lay the groundwork for major changes in the current system that pays players 57% of basketball-related income." Lakers G and NBPA President Derek Fisher said, "There seemed to be a feeling in the room that everybody is trying to do the right thing. I hope that will continue." Lawrence notes the next meeting is tentatively scheduled for September, and the players "expect to hear more lousy financial projections." The owners are "under a gag order" from NBA Commissioner David Stern not to discuss the negotiations (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/5).

SHORTENING THE COURT:'s Chris Sheridan reported the current CBA runs through the '10-11 season, but the owners yesterday indicated that they "will not extend" the current deal into the '11-12 season. The owners by December 15, 2010, "must notify the players" about their choice for the '11-12 season, and if they do opt out, the current CBA will expire on June 30, 2011. Fisher yesterday after the meeting said that the owners contend that "too many franchises are losing too much money to continue operating under the present system." Fisher: "There are still obviously some teams that have some issues. We didn't get into specific teams and their specific issues today, but it was a big picture look at where the league has been the last four years since this collective bargaining agreement began, and then where we think the league will be next year after some of the economic data comes in." The following chart lists the players, league officials and team owners participating in the labor negotiations (, 8/4).

NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter
Spurs Owner Peter Holt
Spurs C Theo Ratliff
MSG Exec Chair James Dolan
Spurs G Roger Mason Jr.
Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert
Thunder C Etan Thomas Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations Jeanie Buss
Nets G Keyon Dooling Celtics CEO & Managing Partner Wyc Grousbeck
Hawks F Maurice Evans Thunder Owner Clay Bennett
Hornets G Chris Paul* Suns Owner Robert Sarver
Magic C Adonal Foyle* T'Wolves Owner Glen Taylor
Heat F James Jones* Hornets Owner George Shinn
Lakers G Derek Fisher Trail Blazers President Larry Miller

NOTE: * = Did not attend Tuesday's meeting

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