It is quite possible that the recent meetings between the NBA owners and players’ top negotiators are actually yielding progress toward ending the lockout.
Last week, a tweet came from NBA Players Association vice president Roger Mason’s account that said, “Looking like a season. How u.” But Mason quickly denied he ever sent the tweet. Now NBCSports.com is reporting that union president and Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher had sent text messages to several key NBA players advising them to get physically ready in case the season starts on time.
Of course, no one is willing to admit to a feeling of optimism as it might hinder negotiations. Mason went as far as to say his Twitter account was hacked and that it wasn’t him that sent that message.
But all of this tweeting and texting seems to indicate that there is at least some movement taking place during these negotiations. Perhaps a compromise on a new collective bargaining agreement is close, which would allow training camps to open close to “on time?”
That would be huge considering that, when the lockout first began July 1, there was a real concern that much of the 2011-12 season could be lost as the owners and players continued to haggle over key issues such as revenue sharing and a salary cap. The differences were said to be so great that it was conceivable that the entire season could be lost.
The ball is now in the owners’ court; they need to send a new proposal that’s considerably better than the previous one, in which they asked players to cut their stake in league revenue to 42 percent from 57 percent.
But, with the surprise revelation that owners and players met for consecutive days last week and are set to meet again this week, there is at least a glimmer of hope that both sides are trying to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
(Photo: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)