Blog Entry

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:37 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 2:08 am
Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association resumed negotiations on a new collective bargaining on Saturday afternoon in New York City -- the first time the sides had met face-to-face in more than a week -- with federal mediator George Cohen once again presiding over the talks. 

Ken Berger of reported that talks concluded after more than eight hours with "no deal" being reached. There are currently no further negotiating sessions scheduled between the two sides.

Saturday's session began at roughly 2 p.m. and stretched past 1 a.m. and included all the major players: NBA commissioner David Stern, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher.

Following the meetings, NBA commissioner David Stern told a group of assembled media that the two sides had endured a "long day," with Cohen making a list of six recommendations regarding system issues -- including a BRI offer with a 49 percent to 51 percent band for the players, modifications to the mid-level exception, heavier restrictions on luxury tax payers, and others -- and that the NBA adopted five of those six suggestions into their current proposal.

"We told the players we would put those in writing so they could be understood and transparent for both sides and we hoped they would accept it," Stern said. "We would be amenable to making a deal on that basis until Wednesday at the close of business."

 After Wednesday's deadline, Stern implied, the owners' proposal would get significantly worse.

"If we are unable to make a deal on those terms by the close of business on Wednesday, we will be making a new proposal, which we will also share very soon with the players in writing," Stern said. "[It] is multi-faceted, but for purposes of this press conference, it would be a 47 percent proposal, a flex cap, and lots of other issues that you have become familiar with. We hope that this juxtaposition [of offers] will cause the union to recess its position and accept the deal."

Stern then noted that the NBPA did not accept the NBA's offer as currently constructed.

"I think it's fair to say that, speaking on behalf of the union, [NBPA lawyer Jeffrey] Kessler rejected the mediator's recommendations and our proposal," Stern said. "But hope springs eternal and we would love to see the union accept the proposal which is now on the table."

Stern said he felt confident and confirmed that he had a "sense" that he could sell the current offer to the majority of his owners needed for ratification.

But, he admitted, the negotiations are starting to wear to him.

"I'm tired," Stern said. "We made the proposal because we hope it will be accepted by Wednesday. I'm not going to make percentage guesses or anything like that. We want our players to play, we want to have a season, these are the terms that we are prepared to gear up and get in as many games as possible."

NBPA president Derek Fisher had a much more solemn take on the day's events.

"Today is another very sad day for our fans, for our arena workers, our parking lot attendants, our vendors, a very frustrating, sad day," Fisher said. "We, for sure, unequivocally made true, good-faith efforts to try and get this deal done tonight. And we're at a loss for why we could not close it out based on the moves that we made towards the NBA and the league in getting this deal done. We made moves that were extremely significant. We made economic moves that were a genuine attempt to try to close the gap between where we were and where the NBA is."

Fisher "respectfully disagreed" with Stern's account of the events, saying that Cohen "never actually proposed any formal ideas or concepts" on Saturday, but that he did lay out "what-ifs" for discussion points. Fisher disputed the characterization of the NBA's BRI proposal, saying that it would be difficult for the players to meet the requirements to achieve the upper compensation end. 

He ended his opening remarks by clearly confirming that the players do not find the NBA's current offer acceptable.

"Right now, we've been given the ultimatum and our answer is that's not acceptable to us," Fisher said.

The offer was so undesireable, Fisher said, that the NBPA was not planning to meet to discuss it prior to Wednesday's deadline.

"There's not a deal that we can present to [all the players to] take a vote on," Fisher said. "I cannot say at this point that we would call a general body meeting to take a vote on what has been proposed at this point."

Prior to the conclusion of the negotiating session, the Washington Post reported that the two sides were "very close" to reaching a new dal while reported that Saturday's meeting was "going very well."

Representatives from all 30 NBA teams also met in New York on Saturday, prior to the NBA-NBPA negotiations.

Entering Saturday, concern had been raised by a number of developments. First, reports of a possible rift between Fisher and Hunter brewed throughout the week. Then, a group of NBPA consulted with a top antitrust attorney to receive more information about possibly decertifying the union. Finally, a report surfaced that a group of hard-line owners, led by NBA legend and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, felt that a 50/50 revenue split with the players was too generous, preferring a 53/47 split for the owners, an offer that would certainly anger the players, who were offering a 52.5/47.5 split in their favor.

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:03 pm

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

I no longer care if the NBA plays this year.  The best basketball is the NCAA and perhaps more great games will be televised to replace the pros.  Neither side is prepared to settle and the only ones who really suffer are the fans.  Maybe it's time that the pros take a year off anyway.  I used to be a Sonic fanatic until they moved.  So I decided to try a year without the NBA.  I found out it's like a vacation and I am then really ready for baseball in the spring and football in the fall.  Heck, it's only a two month break anyway.

Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:43 pm

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

As long as Marijuana is illegal and not taxed. The average NBA player, who's making multi millions of dollars. Is fully stocked and not worried if the season is cancelled.

Since: Jan 28, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:29 pm

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

I pity the poor 1% players fighting against the evil 99% owners. Maybe they should set up tents in Zucati Park with all the other disenfranchised people. The Whole World is Watching! And guess what NBA? Next year, the Whole World will NOT be watching. While 10% of Americans (and 20% of African Americans) are still looking for employment, you ingrates are not thankful to God for the ability to make millions bouncing a ball. When you come back, I hope you're all left playing in front of empty chairs, In any case, if any idiot pays to watch you play, after your elitist tantrum, the chairs will be empty and void of any thinking human being. May you all suffer like you have made many suffer in the proximity of your tax payer built arenas. When you go back for your first game (whenever that is) walk, rather than LIMO in, and see the empty businesses and storefronts that used to house thriving restaurants and other small businesses that are now gone. I wonder if those "owners' feel your pain?<br />

Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:47 pm

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

For the negotiations to have lasted this long is absurd. It reminds me of my kindergartners fighting over a piece of candy when there is plenty to be had. The owners and players have lost revenue already and they are fighting over a measly 1% of gross earnings. Somebody buy these guys some suckers because I am sick of hearing that they can't agree. Super bowl here we come!!!!

Since: Nov 5, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:39 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:49 am

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

For all of you r3tards who think that the NBA owners should knuckle under to the players and give them what they want - would you start a business and hire people at a higher rate of pay, knowing that you were going to lose money?

Or would you pay them less, so that you weren't operating in the red?

Same exact thing.  If you wouldn't do it, why should the owners?


And for all of you that are screaming about how you don't care and won't watch the NBA when it comes back, how about you just shut up and go away, then?  Unless you DO care..

And I'm sure that most of the people that say they're done with watching the NBA will be right in front of their tv sets when it comes back. 

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:20 am

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

"The owners are going to kill professional basketball. Time for players to go to court and get an anti-trust injunction (and damages) from the NBA. Time for a new pro basketball league. Get the agents together and form teams and leave the NBA sucking wind on their expensive leases and doing w/o TV money."

Yes!  Please do just that!  That would be even more entertaining than actual basketball.

I wonder what the over/under on a player/agent-owned league lasting would be.  1.5 years?  Less than a year?  It would be fun to watch them try, though. 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:23 am

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline

The simple problem:

The concessions  the players have offered is still a $100 million/yr. LOSS for the NBA.

The NBA isn't going to operate at a loss anymore.

$100/mil devided by 400 players (the average salary is $5 mil/yr) equals $250K. The NBA is asking players to reduce the average salary approx. 5%, or down to $4.75 million/yr. NO ONE is going to starve at that salary, and semantics of where the money comes from is immaterial, other than it HAS TO COME FROM PLAYERS.

BRI isn't guaranteed, but it's all the players want to discuss, even though they demand guaranteed salaries, and refuse to acknowledge their employers need for same. The max contract players can live on what they've made forever, and THEY are the ones holding everyone else hostage. Players have already lost more in BRI due to the cancellation of games, than they are arguing over. 

This isn't about money anymore, it's about being able to say the NBPA "won" something. Stupidity has overcome hypocracy, and good business is overwhelmed by bad sense. Pride is being prioritised above Profit.

Business doesn't exist for employees, if the business goes bankrupt.  

Players don't invest in the NBA. They don't lose money if the team loses games and/or money. 
They make the highest average salary in pro sports. They still want more.

An owners "ultimatum" to players is overdue.  Players need to go back to work for what the NBA can pay and still make a profit, or just go away. I'm sick of hearing how players are "angry" and owners are "greedy". I would say it would be more accurate to say players are "ignorant AND greedy" and owners are "paying for their previous ignorance".

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:21 pm

Wake up, both of you

Fisher - The common man could not care less if you turds get 50% or 20%. The players stopped showing any respect for the paying customer years ago.  ///// Stern - The common man could not care less if a product with manipulated outcomes and open big market favoritism ever returns to the TV screen. /// Both of you - Step away from the diamond encrusted negotiation table in the gold plated room where you "negotiate" and you might notice that the paying customer in America has lost the ability to make a house payment that a minimum salary baller makes in a night. Here's an idea: Base your ticket costs, drink, parking, burger/hotdog charges and thus your precious salaries on what your least affluent friends and family members can afford. In truth, it won't matter. You've surpassed the American tolerance for greed, gouging, and fan abuse by such a far margin, the league can't recover anyway. Suckit.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 10:08 pm

'No deal' Saturday; Stern sets Wednesday deadline will I but I still don't care...It's football season, then on to bowl season, then on to playoff and Super Bowl "season".  Then on to March Madness, then on to NFL free agency, then the NFL combines and draft, then a few honey do lists, then on to the summer and vacation and gearing up for NFL training camp and season. 

By then, the dispute and crying will be over and we'll have very Merry NBA Christmas in '12. 

Let 'em lockout.

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