The Atlanta Hawks Maurice Evans spoke yesterday about the ongoing labor negotiations between the owners and the players association. Evans said that he nor the players association agrees with NBA commissioner David Stern's recent call for a one third reduction in players salaries.
More after the jump
"We definitely don't agree with those numbers," Evans said. "We feel like the game is really at a great place."
Evans is currently a vice president on the NBA Players Association executive committee and he fears that that the league's relationship with fans would be damaged if their were to be a lockout.
"If we have a lockout, it's just going to set us back," Evans said while distributing 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to Atlanta-area families in a program sponsored by the NBPA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "With the state the economy is in, fans are not going to want to keep getting slapped in the face with players and NBA teams, as fortunate as we are financially to even be playing a game for a living, to keep throwing it in people's face that we're not making enough money, whether it be the league or whether it be the players."
Evans hopes that negotiations can get really serious around February and All Star Weekend when many of the players bigger names would all be together and available to attend the negotiations.
"Everybody will be able to be there and hopefully we'll be able to make some headway," he said.
"We don't want to encourage a lockout at all," he said.
As much as I dislike talking about these sort of things it appears that last year's free agent frenzy of an off season will be replaced this year with daily talk of the CBA and hopes that there will be a season to watch next year.