The NBA players didn’t allow the drama to build by waiting until Wednesday’s deadline to accept commissioner David Stern’s 50-50 revenue split proposal or risk a worse offer.
The union categorically turned down Stern's ultimatum on Tuesday during a gathering of 29 out of 30 team representatives in New York. The players would like another meeting with the owners prior to Stern’s 5 p.m. deadline.
"The current offer on the table from the NBA is one that we cannot accept," National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher told the Associated Press.
Stern proposed a basketball-related income breakdown over the weekend that would give the players a share that could fluctuate between 49 percent and 51 percent. But the players believe the way the offer is structured the deal would never climb above 50.2 percent.
The problem they face now, however, is if an agreement isn’t reached by Stern’s mandated 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday the players could be looking at a significantly worse offer that will include rollbacks on current salaries and a 53-47 revenue split that would favor the owners.
But the players are saying they won’t be forced into a bad deal because of an ultimatum.
Union executive director Billy Hunter said he has heard that if the players do not accept the deal Wednesday the season will be canceled through Christmas. The entire month of November has already been canceled due to the current lockout that began July 1.
The players seem willing to budge on the revenue split if more concessions are made on the salary cap structure. The owners are looking for a more restrictive salary cap with higher penalties for teams that exceed it.
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