The NBA lockout continues…
After three days and 30 hours of labor negotiations, both sides (owners and players) left without reaching an agreement this week … and very far away from one, apparently.
Now, it’s likely more games will be cut from the 2011-12 NBA season, and possibly even the entire schedule.
Union president, Derek Fisher (of the Los Angeles Lakers), says owners aren’t really willing to negotiate, and won’t budge beyond certain terms.
“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 said, according to ESPN. “There was just a line drawn, and regardless of what’s going on, how many times we meet, ‘we’re not going past that.’ ”
This week’s negotiations included a federal mediator. However things were left with the sides divided over two main issues — the division of revenues and the structure of the salary cap system.
NBA’s deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the league was “saddened on behalf of the game.”
Without a deal reached, it’s almost certain that more games must be canceled. Last week, the NBA announced the cancellation of the season’s first two weeks (100 games total), which has already cost players about $170 million in salaries.
NBA commissioner David Stern said previously that games through Christmas would be cancelled if a deal wasn’t reached this week. However, no announcement of game cancellations have been given just yet.
During the three days of talks, the union said owners essentially gave them an ultimatum — a 50-50 split of revenues, or nothing.
“We were shocked,” union attorney Jeffrey Kessler said. “We went in there trying to negotiate and they came in and they said you either accept 50-50 or we’re done and we won’t discuss anything else.”