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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 63: Sides Will Continue Talking As Season Nears
Published September 1, 2011
TIME TO GET SERIOUS: Hunter said, "I wouldn't say the fact that we've decided to meet again is a sign of progress. What I would suggest is that we need more meetings for that to happen" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/1). Lakers F Ron Artest said, "A week ago I expected us not to play until January (or) February, but now I have a good feeling we might have one on time. It seems like we might possibly have a season. I'm hearing progress in these last couple days. I haven't heard this all summer. I've heard people not even talking, going to meetings, showing up. But now I'm hearing some very good things and I'm very excited" (ESPNLA.com, 8/31). But Heat F and NBPA Secretary-Treasurer James Jones yesterday said, "We're polar opposites right now. Unless something serious happens, I expect for us to miss some time" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/1). SI.com's Chris Mannix wrote, "If the NBA and the union agreed on one thing Wednesday, it was this: The p.r. war has to stop." Stern, Silver and Fisher indicated that the "days of negotiating through the media are over." Mannix: "Fine. But on several occasions, three of the most influential men involved in the negotiations were given opportunities to portray Wednesday's meeting in a positive light, to offer millions of fans the slightest glimmer of hope. Each time, they passed. Even with Stern, Silver and Fisher primarily using vague statements and speaking in cliches, it didn't take a genius to realize the league and the union are still nowhere" (SI.com, 8/31).
LEGALLY SPEAKING: SI.com's Sam Amick spoke with the NBPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler "on the strategy" of union decertification and antitrust litigation. Kessler, who was the NFLPA's attorney when that union decertified, said the NBPA has "not made any decision to exercise" a similar option. Kessler: "The option is available and it's something that they might consider in the future depending on the circumstances, or they might not. It will be a decision based on how things develop and what they conclude is in the best interests of the players at that time." But he added, "There are many things you gain by being a union that you lose making a decision not to be one. So this is not a flippant decision" (SI.com, 8/31).