On the day in which the NBA players were supposed to receive a significantly worse offer if they didn’t agree to a new proposal by 5 p.m., the union and owners Wednesday met for 12 hours.
The only significant development to come out of the marathon negotiating session is that the two sides will get together again Thursday in New York with the hopes of ending the lockout at 133 days. As far as movement on the hot-button issues of the basketball-related income revenue split (BRI) or the cap, both sides were characteristically tight-lipped with the details.
"I can't characterize whether they showed flexibility or not in certain system issues," union president Derek Fisher said in an Associated Press story. "Obviously, we'd have a deal done if the right flexibility was being shown. The fact that we don't have a deal lets you know that there's still a lot of work to be done on the system."
"I would not read into this optimism or pessimism," said NBA commissioner David Stern said. "We're not failing. We're not succeeding. We're just there."
But the good news is that the two sides aren’t where Stern promised they would be Wednesday night had the players not accepted his proposal of a split, where the players would receive between 49 and 51 percent of the BRI and a more restrictive salary cap with no salary rollbacks. After 5 p.m. the offer to the players was supposed to be a 53-47 percent revenue split that favored the owners and salary rollbacks on the current contract would be part of the ultimatum deal.
Stern, however, told reporters he “stopped the clock” but said the drop-down offer would come into play if this round of negotiations falls apart as the other have.
The players are said to now be in favor of a 50-50 revenue split as long as the owners are willing to make some kind of concession on the salary cap. Apparently the salary cap system was the only issue dealt with during Wednesday’s meetings.
"We can't say there was significant progress today," Fisher said. "We'll be back tomorrow ... and we'll see if we can continue to make the efforts at least to finish this out."
(Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)