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Posted at 06:14 PM ET, 10/04/2011

NBA players, officials end talks with season opener at risk

Updated at 6:49 p.m.

With NBA players and officials unable to reach agreement on a labor deal today, the rest of the preseason games were canceled and the first two weeks of the regular season will be canceled if there is no deal by Monday.

“We are about to cancel the remainder of the preseason, so it is official in essence as of now,” Adam Silver, the NBA’s deputy commissioner and chief operation officer, said in a press conference with Commissioner David Stern. “We told the players that on Monday, Oct. 10, if we did not have a deal in principle by then, we would have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the regular season.”

The regular season is set to begin Nov. 1 and both sides have agreed that they’d need about a month to prepare for a season.

“We’d like to not lose the first two weeks of the regular season,” Stern said, “but it doesn’t look good.”

Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Association, said no meetings are scheduled. “There has been no discussion about the next meetings,” Hunter said in a press conference. “Maybe a month. Two months. Your guess is as good as mine.”

Stern, who said “there’s an extraordinary hit coming to the owners and to the players,” added: “We have nothing scheduled. There are no foregone conclusions.”

Hunter, who said that the union would set up workout centers for players, indicated that the owners’ last offer was for 47 percent of basketball-related income, up from 46. Players had proposed 53 percent, which is down from 57 in the previous collective bargaining agreement. Each percentage point is worth approximately $40 million.

Said NBAPA President Derek Fisher: “We engaged in more intense discussions today to see if we can close what remains a very large gap. Today was not the day to get this done. We were not able to get close enough to close the gap.”

With no movement, union decertification may be the next step. “Clearly that’s something we may have to give some thought to,” Hunter said.

By  |  06:14 PM ET, 10/04/2011

 
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