Fisher: "today was not the day to get this done. Not able to get close enough to close the gap."
Despite meeting heavily for the last several days, no deal has been reached in the NBA's CBA negotiations and commissioner David Stern announced today that the rest of the preseason had been cancelled. If no deal is reached by Monday, Stern says the league will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season.
Throughout the weekend there were no reports of substantial progress but there were indications that the two sides were moving in the right direction. For a breakdown of today's meeting we turn to SB Nation NBA writer Tom Ziller.
Stern claimed that the owners offered players a 50-50 split of revenue, and pulled proposals to roll back existing player contracts and institute a hard cap off of the table, but that the union rejected the offer. Earlier, National Basketball Players Association director Billy Hunter said that the league's proposal actually removed $350 million in revenue from the equation before splitting the kitty down the middle, effectively creating a 53 percent share for owners under the previous definition of basketball-related income.
NBA writer Chris Sheridan has been as optimistic as anyone that is currently covering the lockout and today is no different. Sheridan points to the reports that both sides reportedly closed the gap in the split of revenues as the reason for his optimism.
At the start of the day, the score was Players: 54; Owners 46.
At the end of the day, after a doomsday-like declaration from Billy Hunter that there might not be any more bargaining sessions or a month or two, then a pronouncement from David Stern that Monday was the deadline for making a deal or losing the start of the regular season, the score had changed.
It is now Players: 53, Owners 50, in terms of the split of revenues.
In other words, they were separated by eight percentage points at the beginning of the day; three percentage points by the end of the day (although the players argued that the proposed 50/50 split was a mischaracterization, something Stern vehemently disputed).
I'll repeat that: From eight to three.
So if Sheridan is right a lot of the doomsday talk coming from Stern and Hunter is simply posturing for the media. The fact that there are no meetings scheduled in the near future is cause for concern but as Sheridan points out, there is a lot of time between now and Monday so stay tuned.
The tough part of all of this is it could get worse. The player's agents are circling as they are afraid that Billy Hunter is going to lead the players to a deal that is too unfavorable. Although it could have been posturing, Hunter admitted on Tuesday that decertification is an option for the Players' Union.
In the backdrop of all of this is that oral arguments for the NBA's lawsuit against the players' union is set for November 2 unless of course a deal is reached between now and then. The NBA sued the players' association in an attempt to prevent the union from seeking decertification.