The NBA players’ union finally has an offer it can put to a vote to the 30 team representatives. The problem is it isn’t the offer that will get them excited.
The proposal was presented by NBA commissioner David Stern at the conclusion of Thursday’s 11-hour meeting. The plan would call for a 72-game schedule that would begin Dec. 15, but apparently doesn’t do enough about the salary-cap system the players are unhappy about.
Previously, the players’ side had said they would accept a 50-50 basketball-related income (BRI) revenue split with the owners if the owners were willing to make some concessions on a more restrictive salary cap.
"It does not meet us entirely on the system issues that we felt were extremely important to try and close this thing out, and so at this point we've decided to end things for now, take a step back," union president Derek Fisher said Thursday night. "We'll go back as an executive committee, as a board, confer with our player reps and additional players over the next few days. Then we'll make decisions about what our next steps will be at that point."
"It's not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership and so that's what we're going to do," said union executive director Billy Hunter.
But they don’t have long to decide.
In what sounds like a final reasonable offer, Stern is expecting an answer early next week. If the players miss the deadline or vote down the proposal then Stern has said the offer will return to the step down proposal that was supposed to go into play at 5 p.m. Wednesday had the players not accepted last weekend’s proposal.
Under the ultimatum, players would have to concede to a 53-47 BRI split in the owners’ favor, deal with a more restrictive salary cap system and suffer rollbacks on current player contracts.
Hunter said after Thursday’s meeting that he hoped to meet with players’ reps on either Monday or Tuesday in New York to decide whether or not to present the owners’ latest offer for a vote to the 450 members.
There is an expectation the players will reject the owners’ latest proposal which would then pave the way for the eventual cancelation of the entire 2011-12 season. There is still a movement among the players to decertify the union so that players can file lawsuits against the NBA. It’s likely after the latest offer the decertification plan will be expedited.
"We don't expect them to love every aspect of our revised proposal," Stern said in an ESPN.com story. "I would say that there are many teams that don't like every aspect of our revised proposal."
(Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)