NBA Lockout Watch, Day 133: Sides Continue Talks After "Significant Progress" Made
NBA owners and players yesterday made "significant progress" toward a CBA that would end the lockout, according to sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of YAHOO SPORTS. Sources said that with the NBPA "agreeable to a 50-50 split of revenue, the sides also made progress on three of the five system issues that union officials said needed to be resolved to complete a deal." The players are "determined to keep system issues which allow them freedom to move to luxury-tax teams, among other issues involving the tax and escrow systems." The negotiations lasted "more than 12 hours," and will resume today at noon ET. An NBA official said, "We can get there in the next day or two. But it’s still a volatile process, and egos can still get in the way. ... But there’s a lot of reason to be hopeful." Wojnarowski notes NBA Commissioner David Stern "has some ability to negotiate through the deal points of the system issues, but he also has a group of owners largely split over how much they need to cede to the players on system issues." There is a "significant faction that thinks Stern can get a deal done without yielding much more to the players." But one ownership source said, "There’s not enough of (the hardline owners). Most are not thrilled with the current deal but would take it." If the talks "break down in the next 24-48 hours, agents are prepared to move rapidly toward decertification of the union or a variation of it, disclaimer of interest." Wojnarowski notes Stern had "vowed to 'reset' the owners' proposal to a worse offer if a deal wasn’t reached" by yesterday's 5:00pm ET deadline. Stern after yesterday's talks said, "The clock is stopped. And we’re trying to see if there’s a reason why we can get something to go back to our respective sides with" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10). Stern said the latest offer was not pulled at the deadline because the league was "trying to demonstrate our good faith." He added that the "understanding was the offer potentially would be pulled at the end of this series of negotiations, whenever that might be" (AP, 11/9).
IN THIS CORNER... A league source yesterday said that a deal "appeared to be in sight for the first time since the work stoppage began," as the union "appeared to have realized Wednesday’s small-group meeting was likely its best chance" to end the lockout (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 11/10). In San Antonio, Mike Monroe reports yesterday's talks "involved smaller groups than last weekend’s sessions." Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver, Spurs Owner & NBA Labor Relations Committee Chair Peter Holt, NBA Exec VP & General Counsel Rick Buchanan and NBA Senior VP & Deputy General Counsel Dan Rube represented the league. NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter, Lakers G and NBPA President Derek Fisher, Wizards F and NBPA VP Maurice Evans, NBPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner, and union economist Kevin Murphy represented the players (MYSANANTONIO.com, 11/10).
issues still remaining to be resolved