Hunter, Fisher Not Persuaded By Owners’ Latest Proposal

NEW YORK – Sleeping on it apparently didn’t soften the NBA players’ view of the owners’ latest proposal in their continuing but so far fruitless negotiations of a new collective bargaining agreement. Quite the opposite.

One day after meeting with the owners Tuesday in the latest round of talks to avert a lockout on July 1, Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association and union president Derek Fisher sounded less persuaded than ever.

For instance, in reference to the owners’ concept of a “flex” salary cap that would replace the current “soft” cap, Fisher did not hold back, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press:

Union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers says that’s a “total distortion of reality,” saying “it’s not a flexible cap, it’s a hard cap.”

Hunter, in talking Wednesday with a few reporters in New York, said of the terms proposed 24 hours earlier: “Their demand is gargantuan.” He said the NBA’s proposal would cost the players $7 billion in compensation over the 10-years of the deal and that it would take until the 10th year for the players to reach the $2.17 billion in salary and benefits they earned in 2010-11.

NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver had said Tuesday that the players would be paid a minimum of $2 billion in each year of the 10-year pact.

“Players have benefited from the current system more than the teams,” Stern said in a statement Wednesday evening. “For them it has been a much better partnership. We are sorry that the players’ union feels that way since it doesn’t seem designed to get us to the agreement that is so important to the teams and, we had hoped, the players.”

The union will meet with player representatives of all 30 teams, along with other rank-and-file members, Thursday in Manhattan. The next negotiating session is set for Friday, and Hunter said the players still are deciding what their next move is.

Fisher, according to reports, made it sound as if players he has talked to are frustrated, fed-up or worse. “They’ve asked us point-blank why we are even talking,” the veteran Lakers guard said.

Hunter, meanwhile, said that the NBA Board of Governors meeting Tuesday in Dallas could well be the one in which owners authorize a lockout. (That’s not so much rhetorical as logical, given that it will be the last full-session, face-to-face meeting of the owners before the current CBA expires two days later).

3 Comments

  1. Tim says:

    is it not the fans that pay for everything, tickets, merchandise and watching on television (making the television rights worth a fortune) who should be though of most highly in these situations. collectively we invest billions in time and money supporting the nba, i just cant see how 500 or so rich men and women could be willing to bite the hand that feeds them. was it not up to the individuals to pay so much for the franchises, how can they say that they are willing to pay 450 million for example and then complain it i not profitable enough, if that is the case then why part with so much money in the first place? unless they are also fans (but then would they also not want play to continue?)

    this is the NBA, we should love basketball first, not money

  2. Matt Grimsey says:

    I remember the 98/99 lockout(and remember sending a very frustrated email to NBA.com about it), and if that’s anything to go by I don’t think either side, particularly the owners are that concerned about the fans. That or they seem to forget about the fans. I honestly thought that after ’99 neither side would ever let things get this bad again but then again, the ranks of owners have been overhauled since ’99 and the lessons seemingly haven’t been carried over.

  3. Alberto says:

    how important are the fans, if lockout is all Those Who Watched the playoff season and all frustrated, I hope you reach an agreement as soon as possible, please want to see the NBA, the NFL Including Also, fans .

    thanks