• 68°

NBA: Union says no deal, no fear

Associated Press
NEW YORK ó NBA players made it clear Tuesday: No deal.
No fear of Commissioner David Sternís ultimatum, either.
ěThe current offer on the table from the NBA is one that we cannot accept,î playersí association president Derek Fisher said.
Instead, the players said they will ask for another meeting with owners before Sternís Wednesday afternoon deadline ó and sound willing to agree to a 50-50 split of revenues under the right circumstances ó in an attempt to end the lockout and save the season.
In an interview on NBA TV, Stern said that whether he agrees to meet ěwould be guided by the labor relations committee.î
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league has not yet heard from Hunter.
A month of the season has already been lost, and the NBA risks losing fans without an agreement soon. Some already appear to have forgotten: Blake Griffin, last seasonís rookie of the year, stood around in the lobby of a busy hotel off Broadway and was rarely approached by fans.
The leagueís current proposal calls for players to receive between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball-related income, though union officials argue it would be nearly impossible to get above 50.2 percent.
ěThe players are clearly of the mind that itís an unacceptable proposal,î union executive director Billy Hunter said. ěBut because of their commitment to the game and their desire to play, theyíre saying to us that we want you to go back, see if you can go back, get a better deal.î
If players donít take the deal by 5 p.m. Wednesday, the next offer will call for salary rollbacks, a 53-47 revenue split in the ownersí favor and essentially a hard salary cap.
ěOur proposal on the table now goes away (Wednesday),î Stern said. ěOur next proposal will then go to the players, and we will see where negotiations go.î
Players are willing to negotiate further on the revenue split if they get some concessions on the salary cap system. Without them, Fisher said ěwe donít see a way of getting a deal done between now and end of businessî Wednesday.
The league is seeking to limit the spending options of teams above the luxury tax threshold, believing that would lead to greater competitive balance. Players want all teams to be options for free agents.
When asked if thereís still wiggle room on system issues, Stern said that as of 3 a.m. Sunday there was none left.
The players insisted they will not be forced into taking a bad deal by an ultimatum ó though Stern refused to call it that.
ěThe players are saying that we understand their position, but unfortunately weíre not intimidated by all that,î Hunter said.
With more than 40 players ranging from All-Stars to minimum salary players behind them, Fisher and Hunter dismissed Sternís warning, had hard words for Michael Jordan and repeated that they are willing to negotiate and believe they have made more than enough economic concessions to get the salary cap system they want.
That message was not just for the owners.
They also were speaking to the players and agents who advocate disbanding the union in an attempt to take on the league in court. Union leaders said there was very little discussion about decertification, saying they understand there would be differences of opinion with a membership of 450, but that the team representatives summoned to New York knew the best interests of their teammates.
The union called the meeting after Stern issued his ultimatum early Sunday morning following an eight-hour bargaining session with a federal mediator. Fisher said 43 players, including superstars Carmelo Anthony and Griffin, attended the meeting and that 29 of the 30 teams were represented.
Jordan provided perhaps the most memorable moment of the last lockout, chastising former Washington owner Abe Pollin that he should sell his team if he couldnít make a profit without concessions from players. Jordan now owns the Charlotte Bobcats and is considered one of the hardliners who never wanted Stern to offer the players a 50-50 split.
ěI would give him the advice that he gave to Abe Pollin,î Hunter said.
After the press conference, Fisher bumped into an old acquaintance from Arkansas, former President Bill Clinton, who was at the hotel preparing to appear on an evening talk show. Clinton signed a copy of his new book, ěBack to Work,î for Fisher as players looked on.
Next, Fisher would like to meet with Stern, believing there is room to compromise.
After previously saying they wouldnít go below 52.5 percent of BRI, players said Saturday they would be willing to go down to about 51 percent, with 1 percent going to a fund for retired player benefits.
They might go even further, but only with some movement on the system issues.
ěWeíre open to discussions, open to negotiation,î Fisher said. ěWeíre open minded about potential compromises on our number, but there are things in the system that are not up for discussion that we have to have in order to able to get this season going.î
The Associated Press
11/08/11 19:33

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

BREAKING NEWS

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily