Lockout talks end; Clock to remain stopped


NEW YORK — The clock remains stopped, and it will stay that way until the early part of next week — and perhaps even longer.

Eventually, we will learn whether there will be a 72-game season beginning Dec. 15, or a nuclear winter for the NBA.

“”We have made our revised proposal, and we’re not planning to make another one. There’s nothing left to negotiate about,” commissioner David Stern said after the sides met for another 10 1/2 hours Thursday.

Stern would not characterize his proposal as a “best and final offer,” although it sounded as though that was the case. The sides agreed to wait until a meeting is held among the union’s 30 player representatives on Monday or Tuesday to discuss the new offer on the table.

If the player reps agree to put the proposal forward for a vote, it would likely take another several days to have players physically assemble in one spot to cast their votes.

Bottom line: Another week of waiting.

“We moved as far as we could move, and so now we are at where we’re at. And I’m optimistic that the NBA owners will approve it if the union approves it, and we await a response from the union. We’ve done our best,” Stern said. “We both recognize the seriousness of what we are facing. I think both sides would like to start the season Dec. 15, and we’ve done the best we can to make that happen.”

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the owners made several tweaks to their earlier proposal that would create “a more robust market for free agents.”

Previously, the union objected to restrictions that would be placed on teams over the salary cap threshold, preventing them from offering the full mid-level exception of $5 million and prohibiting them from executing sign-and-trade deals.

“It’s not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to the membership, and that’s what I’m going to do. Then we’ll collectively decide what it is we should do,” union director Billy Hunter said.

If the players reps reject the offer, Stern said the owners would revert to an earlier offer under which they would be asking for 53 percent of revenues and a flex-cap system similar to the NHL’s system.




  1. illyb says

    At some point the players have to capitulate, unless they want to put all their eggs into the anti-trust lawsuit. Curious as to why the luxury tax rates aren’t mentioned. Aren’t those just as central as the MLE exception?

    • Mark says

      This is the problem with all the commentary. NBA players can attempt to find a job overseas, attempt to find a sponsor(s) to market games here and/or attempt to form a new league, go into coaching or attempt an entirely different profession.

      The fact remains that the NBA is far and away the best deal financially for a NBA player. Why would they give that up?

  2. Mark says

    The players should absolutely accept this deal. If the revenue for the league goes up, the players automatically share in such revenue. Further, this deal does not impact endorsements (e.g., commericals) and other income generated by players. At the end of the day, the players could go overseas to play basketball but they will never make the money they are being offered here.

    Two stories have been mysteriously ignored by those covering the NBA: (1) the absurd power of agents and (2) an attempt to maintain some competitive balance in this league. I can only assume that these stories have been swept under the table because these same agents serve as the “sources” for the basketball writers covering the league.

    • Michael S says

      Doesn’t seem credible to me to blame agents. Owners have won three successive negotiatons. If Agents really had their way There’d be no Rookie Salary cap and Decert would have started back in July

      • dan says

        Instead of whining and crying to reporters, the agents should go find jobs for their clients in Euro, China, Mexico, Siberia, South Africa etc…

        The agents could also find new investors and form a new league so their clients can play ball again. There are many things the agents can do…

        Hey it is a free country, if the players don’t like the deal, go play somewhere else. Same for us workers, we can quit our jobs anytime.

        • Mark says

          Dan: exactly right!

          NBA players will average roughly 5 million in salary plus per diem, chartered travel, nice hotel arrangments and the ability to make extra money in endorsements. Further, they can obtain guaranteed contracts. If they can get a better deal elsewhere, they should go for it. Of course, they will never get a deal close to this.

  3. mookie says

    Was that David Stern laughing at you Chris during the press conference? He’s probably wondering why you keep promising when this mess of a lockout is going to end. It’s obvious this is a big fat mess of a lockout, with no end in sight.

  4. Michael S says

    Don’t have a problem with players trying decert. Look where negotiating without leverage has gotten them. If players think they can live with the deal, that’s fine. But part of being in a union is looking to the interests of those who come after you as well.

    • MR.PEABODY says

      a message to the players: you have negotiated fairly and given much.screw the fans and the so called experts pushing this line of crap as fair.DECERTIFY ASAP! TAKE THAT “FAIR JORDAN”.

      • Andrea (Italy) says

        Yeah because obviously having the most player-friendly CBA in sports and remaining the HIGHEST PAID ATHLETES IN THE WORLD, top travel conditions, top hotels, top staff etc. is not enough! They’re treated unfairly, poor babies!!!!!!!! Then what should average people like us say then?

        You can’t be serious.

        This whole #letusplay crap they came up with is ridiculous..Let us play? Who said they can’t play? Again, by accepting this deal is not like they would go bankrupt….and oh yeah, they got EVERYTHING, E-V-E-R-Y T-H-I-N-G in the ’99 and ’05 deals, so I don’t see anything wrong in giving back most of that stuff they should’ve never gotten to begin with.

        But yeah, poor players…they’re getting screwed, they’re going bankrupt…..I feel so sorry for them.


  5. Andrea (Italy) says

    I’m sorry but this is not going to end well.

    A few days ago I posted I was fine with the league’s offer and, certainly, I haven’t changed my mind today. Those guys, on average, would still remain the highest paid athletes in sports and would still have the most player-friendly CBA in sports, regardless of what detractors of the league’s offer would like us to believe.

    But I’m fairly sure the whole decertification talk thing is going to come back stronger than ever. I can already see Pierce, KG and all of the other hard-liners among the players screaming to decertify the union. Which is kinda sad considering many of those pro-decertification players won’t even be in the league within few years from now so I don’t get how this is going to change their lives.

    I hope to be proved wrong but I really don’t see this thing ending well. The hard-liners, though a minority, are the most vocal and, in general, the most vocal ones get what they want.

  6. Fysh says

    It’s probably not a great deal, but they can’t do better. If u want to sign w lakers or Knicks, u’ll have to take less $ as a vet. NBA won’t allow lebron or melo to go on again. I urge players not to sue and kill season over d12 and cp3’s ability to full boat s&t to la or ny..let everyone vote and go from there.

  7. MadManley says

    I generally liked the tone of the press conferences on Thursday night. I get the feeling this time more than any other previous time after a press conference for the league or players that they have both reached the end of the “dead end” street and this is the best offer that will be on the table for the players.

    I think Billy Hunter and the players know it and while it’s not perfect in their eyes, they also understand it’s time to accept this proposal to avoid complete disaster.

    Anything seems possible in these bizarre and tedious negotiations, but I really think everything leading up until now has been calculated and it may have somewhat been planned that games would get started around Christmas (in this case, 10 days before).

    I think owners and players all along were not afraid to lose the first month of the season because they understand that fan interest starts to launch around Christmas time.


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