After their second marathon meeting in three days, the NBA owners and players were still unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. The lack of a deal has forced the league to cancel the remaining preseason games and will pull the plug on the first two weeks of the regular season if the two sides cannot find common ground by Monday. The first two weeks of the preseason had previously been canceled.
"We were not able to make the progress that we hoped we could make and we were not able to continue the negotiations," commissioner David Stern told reporters following his meeting with the players.
While there aren't currently more meetings planned, Stern's Monday deadline will likely force some form of negotiating session to try and close the gap.
"We’re ready to meet and discuss any subject anyone wants to talk about," said Stern.
Even though the owners offered the players a "concept" of a 50-50 split of basketball related income (BRI), union president Derek Fisher was not willing to give his stamp of approval and the idea stalled.
According to ESPN, the owners actually offered the players 49 percent of BRI that would become 51 percent based on incentives built in to the growth of the league. The issue died when players asked for 51 percent with an increase to 53 percent.
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver expressed his frustration with the players unwillingness to play ball during his press conference with Stern.
"I would say I’m personally very disappointed. I thought that we should have continued negotiating today and I thought that there was potentially common ground on a 50-50 deal. I think it makes sense, it sounds like a partnership. There still would have been a lot of negotiating to do on the system elements, but I’m personally very disappointed."
NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter said that his players are ready to stand their ground.
"Our guys have indicated a willingness to lose games."
Something tells me they are going to get that chance and likely for more than just two weeks.