NBA, players fail to agree after marathon talks

NBA, players fail to agree after marathon talks
November 11, 2011, 4:04 am
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Players Association president Derek Fisher used the word "disappointing" to describe the latest proposal from NBA owners after emerging from two days of intense talks.

"At this time it's not enough to really entice us to try to finish things tonight," Fisher said Thursday, in a press conference in New York.

Still, Fisher and union chief Billy Hunter will take the proposal to each team's player representatives to gauge whether the players' association should vote on the proposal, reject it or try to continue to tweak it.

Fisher said that the revised NBA deal doesn't meet on all system issues, but commissioner David Stern indicated it very well could be the NBA's last offer. If the players don't take this deal, Stern said the owners would reset their proposal and it would be worse.

The players earned 57 percent of basketball-related income under the old collective bargaining agreement. They have agreed to come down to 50 percent or very near that figure. But Stern said if the current deal weren't accepted, the owners new offer would call for players to get only 47 percent of BRI.

"Obviously, we would like to keep negotiating and find a way to get a deal done. But right now it's not that time," Fisher said.

Stern followed Fisher and Hunter to the podium and indicated that the revised proposal was the "best attempt" to address the concerns that the players expressed last week. Stern made it clear that the owners were done negotiating.

"We both realize the seriousness of what we're facing," Stern said, adding "... we await the response from the union. We did our best."

According to reports, the league has proposed what is being called a mini mid-level exception worth 2.5 million to be used under certain circumstances. The league will also raise the minimum team salaries from 75 percent of what the salary cap is to 85 percent of the cap.

Stern said the proposal would allow a season to start Dec. 15 if accepted, with a 72- game schedule. That would require moving the playoffs and The Finals back a week, according to Adam Silver, the NBA's deputy commissioner.

Hunter says union hopes to meet with players reps on revised NBA offer in New York on Monday or Tuesday.

According to Hunter, there is no deadline and that the revised offer will remain on table until the union gets back to league.

"It's been a long haul. Were coming to the end of it and trying to get this thing done."

Hunter said that in addition to six or seven primary elements needing to be worked out, the salary cap chief among them, there are 30 to 40 unresolved issues. Those ancillary issures totaled six pages, including items such as the draft age and the commissioner's disciplinary rights.

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