They met for three days and spent 30 hours in talks and now the NBA Players Union and NBA team owners have ended talks with no resolution and no further talks scheduled.
Speaking about the motives of team owners the players association believes owners had already “preordained” what they wanted from the negotiations. According to union president Derek Fisher:
“We’ve always felt there was still a place where they would just not go and they would lock us out as long as it would take in order to get us beyond that place. There was never really a willingness to negotiate beyond certain points.”
Fisher went on to add:
“There was just a line drawn, and regardless of what’s going on, how many times we meet, ‘we’re not going past that.'”
Players and team owners met with a federal mediator to work out their issues but stayed divided when discussing revenue sharing and the current salary cap system which puts in place a hard cap.
Speaking about the current outcome which will likely see more of the season cancelled NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver noted:
“We understand the ramifications of where we are,” and “We’re saddened on behalf of the game.”
Last week NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the season which amount to exactly 100 games, a decision that cost NBA players $170 million in lost salaries.
Without a deal in place this week Stern said he would likely cancel all games through Christmas although he has not made any decisions to cancel games or the entire season at this time.
When asked about negotiations union members said owners “hijacked” the negotiations by offering a 50-50 revenue split agreement that they would not waver on.
Under the supervision of federal mediator George Cohen both groups say they reached agreements on minor issues with the heart of their talks still in jeopardy.
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