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Tag:Adam Slver
Posted on: September 22, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Silence on labor talks; preseason to be delayed

NEW YORK -- Amid outsized expectations for progress, top negotiators for the NBA and players' union met for five hours Thursday with both sides refusing to charaterize the talks.

"We're not going to draw any conclusions or say anything other than we had a full day and we hope to meet again next week," commissioner David Stern said on his 69th birthday. 

Stern intimated that he and deputy commissioner Adam Silver will brief the full labor relations committee Friday, presumably by phone, on the status of talks. It is widely anticipated that, without a deal, the league will announce in the coming days -- perhaps as early as Friday -- that it is postponing the start of training camps and preseason. Camps were supposed to open on Oct. 3. Management sources told CBSSports.com they've been advised to expect an announcement of the cancellations on Friday after Stern briefs the owners on the talks.

"I have no announcement to make today, but the calendar is not our friend. Derek Fisher, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, also used that phrase about the calendar and was equally protective of details from Thursday's talks, which included the smaller group of negotiators who'd made progress in a series of three meetings that began Aug. 31. Fisher and Stern emerged from the Upper East Side hotel with an equally flatlined demeanor and monotoned speech -- evidence, perhaps, that there was agreement on at least one aspect of the negotiations: that neither side would put on a public show or negotiate in the media.

In declining to answer a string of specific questions about the bargaining session, Stern at one point interjected, "I'm sorry, but the most important thing is to see whether we can't have negotiations conducive to ultimately getting a deal, which is what our committee and our board will like. And having these conversations with you doesn't add anything to that. And that's the dilemma."

The talks involving the heavy hitters -- Stern, Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt and deputy general counsel Dan Rube for the league and union chief Billy Hunter, Fisher, general counsel Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy for the players -- followed a full day of what Silver described as "more intensive discussions" among lawyers and staff for both sides at the NBPA's Harlem office. Stern wouldn't say if the league brought anything new to the table coming out of Wednesday's meetings and a gathering of the full Board of Governors las week in Dallas.

"I'm not going to say," Stern said when asked if any proposals were exchanged.

Fisher said no new topics were discussed Thursday and said the league provided no details of its revenue sharing plan.

"We're trying to figure out ways to come together," Fisher said. "We couldn't do it today, and hopefully we'll get another opportunity next week to continue to try and figure this thing out."
Posted on: September 22, 2011 8:34 am
Edited on: September 22, 2011 8:48 am
 

'Blood issue' time for both sides

NEW YORK -- Is it time for a deal to go down in the NBA labor talks Thursday?

Maybe.

But probably not.

After Wednesday's meeting among lawyers and staff for both sides at the National Basketbal Players Association offices in Harlem, the top negotiators and power brokers for both sides will reconvene in Manhattan Thursday for a critical bargaining session amid the threat of imminent canceling of training camps and preseason games.

It will be the same group of negotiators that had made significant progress in a series of three high-level meetings that began Aug. 31, only to have the talks break down last Tuesday when the full bargaining committees could not move the dialogue past the players' resistance to a hard salary cap and the owners' insistence on one. Commissioner David Stern, deputy commisssioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt and deputy general counsel Dan Rube -- the league's top authority on contracts, the cap and system issues -- will represent the league while union executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher, general counsel Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy will represent the players.

While the small groups seemed to have been on the verge of a compromise after the three meetings leading up to last week's setback, intransigence on both sides scuttled the progress. Hunter's refusal to move ahead with an economic concession unless the owners agreed to the pre-condition that the soft-cap system remain intact caused league negotiators to retrench and reject the ultimatum. From the owners' standpoint, the full bargaining committee that convened last Tuesday in New York did not signal the same willingness to compromise as the small group led by Stern, Silver and Holt had previously expressed, according to a person directly linked to the talks.

The key issues Thursday are two-fold, and most certainly are intertwined. For the players, did union leadership emerge from a meeting last week in Las Vegas with enough clout to resist the owners' push for a hard cap while at the same time being willing to negotiate enough system changes to move the dialogue forward? Did league negotiators return from a Board of Governors meeting in Dallas with the authority to divulge to the union details of their revenue sharing plans while achieving enough unanimity among owners to move forward with the framework of a compromise?

To borrow a phrase from Hunter, it is "blood issue" time for both sides.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 4:57 pm
 

NBA talks at stalemate, start of season imperiled

NEW YORK -- Full committees of NBA owners and players met Tuesday with a hint of progress on the economic split but no signs of compromise on the hard salary cap owners are trying to impose.

After five hours -- most of it spent with each side symbolically huddled amongst themselves, apropos of their deeply entrenched bargaining stances -- National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher warned that it appears the season will not start on time. Hunter said he has advised players that they "may have to sit out half the season before we get a deal."

"We can't come out of here thinking that training camps and preseason are going to start on time," Fisher said.

Commissioner David Stern did not share that dour outlook, saying emphatically that owners would not cancel training camps or preseason games at the Board of Governors meeting in Dallas Thursday. Appropriate to their diametrically opposed positions on changes to the cap system the owners have proposed, each side blamed the other for the breakdown in talks.

After three seemingly productive meetings among only the highest-level negotiators in recent weeks, Hunter said the players insisted that the full bargaining teams be brought in Tuesday to see if compromise could be achieved before each side holds a significant meeting Thursday, when the players will convene in Las Vegas. The players were "prepared to compromise somewhat" on their share of revenues, which they'd previously proposed reducing from 57 percent to 54.3 percent.

"The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they've anchored themselves," Hunter said, adding that players remain steadfast against accepting a system that distributes the money to players via a hard cap.

Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver told a diferent story, saying the players signaled their willingness to compromise on dollars only if the owners agreed in advance that the system -- with a soft cap, luxury tax, and various spending exceptions -- would remain largely intact. The owners huddled -- for about three of the 5 1-2 hour, Hunter said -- and emerged to reject the players' request. Neither side actually made a formal proposal Tuesday.

Stern called the players' opposition to a hard cap "an emotional attachment," while Hunter argued that it would depress player salaries -- a point that Silver vehemently disputed.



 
 
 
 
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