Labor Talks: In the Midnight Hour

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Perhaps “no comment,” officially, is the best thing anyone could say at this late stage of the NBA lockout.

After more than five hours of closed-door negotiations in New York Sunday night, the two sides agreed to stay quiet about what was said and resume negotiations Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

“We don’t have any comment at all, other than we are breaking for the night and reconvening tomorrow afternoon,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters after emerging from the meeting, which was scrapped as of late Friday night only to be revived over the weekend.

The continuation of talk is better than the alternative. Stern issued a Monday deadline for a new labor agreement to be reached before the first two weeks of the regular season were canceled. Union executive director Billy Hunter was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this morning for a previously scheduled regional meeting with players, but will instead be back in the meeting room alongside union president Derek Fisher and the rest of their negotiating team.

“We’re not necessarily any closer than we were [going into] tonight,” Fisher told reporters when he hit the New York sidewalk shortly before midnight.

Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, owners Peter Holt of San Antonio and Glen Taylor of Minnesota, and senior vice president and deputy general counsel Dan Rube met with Hunter, Fisher and union vice president Mo Evans. Attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner were also present.

Getting all of them in a room together just two days after both sides agreed that they would not meet without the precondition that the players accept a 50-50 split of BRI was a victory in itself. The introduction of the 50-50 split is what shut down talks Tuesday, when the players rejected the notion outright. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix the subject was not discussed at all during Sunday’s session, which focused solely on … .

We won’t find out exactly where things stand until someone speaks about it in-depth, and preferably on the record. (Both sides agreed not to do so, according to Ken Berger of But the clock continues to tick on Stern’s deadline.

The regular season is scheduled to begin Nov. 1 …


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  2. P. Burton says:

    You know this is all about greedddddddddddddddddd. Owners stop the madness. I agree that NBA stars with big contracts should have something in their contract that stipulates if you fall below quality playing for 2 years straight, that your contract can be re-evaluated and adjusted. It is not good to overpay someone when they are playing poorly. We don’t want star players to think that they can do good when they feel like it and when they don’t take the low road. But back to the owners. If it weren’t for the players you would not be making any money in the game of basketball. While you pay for the buildings they perform in and the publicity, they are the ones that bring the people in. I think 53% for the players is fair. You already have a heck of a lot more money than they do, don’t be so selfish! Let’s get back to playing basketball.

  3. Robin Marks says:

    I realized over the last couple of days that I really don’t care if they play or not. I was a season ticket holder for nearly 20 years. Have been getting turned off more each year with the thug image in the league. The Lebron circus iced me forever. Will be very happy to watch college hoops and hope it remains about the Game and not personal Fame. $1000 to take family to 1 game ? Not anymore !!!!

  4. Lawrence says:

    i don’t think that the nba players realize that if they don’t agree, they won’t be paid anything. besides, they’re making a fortune already, so they need to get over it.

  5. Rich Americans never cease to amaze me!!! why you millionaires and billionaires are arguing over dollars!!! Middle America is suffering. Lack of jobs, taxes rising sky high, barely making the ends meet. You rich guys are about to destroy a season over dollars! like its really going to effect you any way. weather its a 50/50 split or whatever. Its just sad that money brings out the greed in man. But what do I know Im just an ordinary man. Don’t get me wrong I understand you guys want a fair deal but it not going to help you if this season is lost

  6. Anthony says:

    We want baketball game so stop it

  7. All players and owners just go home and tend to their families. Season or no season, Obama dont care. Just work $5 hard labor. Hypocrite America…. $$$$$

  8. I am a fan of the NBA but I think that The Players are making plenty of money and in most cases it is the teames that drive up players pay when they are willing to spend more to get who they wan’t, They need a hard cap so that every team can only spend up to that point. This would help to balance the compition between the teams and give every team abetter chance to stay in the race to a ring. It is impossible for me to know about the real economics that they are fighting about but not starting the season on on time could lose fans and that will only hurt every body in the league.
    Thank You
    Richard Flanders a fanin Utah

  9. fisherman760 says:

    Need to tell them that if the players do not like the offers on the table to go find another job! They want to have their cake and eat it too. Everybody says that the players are the ones that make the league run but I disagree with that. It takes the deep pockets of the owners to make the teams and these players viable. Tell the players to go start their own league with their own funds and build their own stadiums and take on all the risks that the owners do. I am tired as a businessman of listening to people complain about how it isn’t fair when someone makes a lot of money that they are not getting more of it. When times are tough you do not see them wanting to give up their benefits, work a lil extra for nothing, or take a cut in pay for the betterment of the company. Only time this happens is when the company s filing for bankruptcy and they realize they are going to lose their jobs. I’ll bet you that 90 percent of the players in the NBA would be a drag on society if it wasn’t for the owners paying them to play a kids game.

  10. Blackmamba24 says:

    Today is the day were will have the answer to wether we have a season or not, or whats up?!!!…. This is really getting outta hand and I feel like there wont be a season this year!


  11. Matt Terry says:

    Derek Fisher go home!

  12. Lisa says:

    I just think it really sucks that the owners and the players are having such a tough time coming to an agreement. I truly understand where the players are coming from, but they do have to understand that we(country) are really going through financial difficulties, and maybe its not the best time to be aggressively asking for so much change…I truly respect their jobs and have lots of love for the game, but we are all doing good to even keep our jobs with the economy, so when we get a little raise we are excited. Just a lil thought, what if when you guys finally came to a decision and then there was no fans/people there, only the cheerleaders and the mascots…How would you feel, if the fans decided a lock-out…So what Im saying is, please keep your fans/supporters in line when making decisions, because if you force the owners to much and they are already taking some hits, it will make it even harder for the average family to continue to keep supporting you, which will decrease the revenue anyway…

  13. CJ Lopez says:

    Derek Fisher!

  14. Lenny says:

    Woo hoo! No basketball! My prayers have been answered!

  15. rob says:

    I loved to watch last 2 NBA seasons – but now ? what both sides doing ?? you will loose NBA fans and with them huge amount of money, about which you are fighting … NBA Players and Owners you are on the wrong way , wake up

    • imad akel says:

      same. i think fans will be lost. i’ve already started watching some soccer…

      bad bad summer for the league. instead of preparing for a lockout all of last year, they should’ve been dealing with the issue.

  16. TS says:

    – Union executive director Billy Hunter was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this morning for a previously scheduled regional meeting with players –

    uuuuh, you mean the Lakers and some Clips..right? That’s what teams are in L.A., and probably where the dude lives. I’ve seen an article a while back ago where Lamar Odom got a tech from a ref for whining too much. Then Billy Hunter jumped out that very evening, claiming that it was a terrible call, and sent a repremanding letter to the NBA. My point here is Billy Hunter works for the Los Angeles Lakers, and is currently trying to throw the season, simply because the Lakers cannot win games without ignoring the salary cap. With a hard cap, the Lakers would have to play in a fair and competitive league, and we’d see many a games where Laker fans act like spoiled brats and throw foam fingers (or worse) at the players that beat them.

    • imad akel says:

      wow…conspiracy theory much?

      i dont know man if i were a laker fan (but im not, im actually an LA hater) i wouldnt want to miss this season because kobe wont cheat time forever…

      • totalbs1 says:

        Well, TS, you’re going to see that alot next season anyway. The Lakers can spend as much as they want this year and they’re still going to lose alot. Without a coach like Jackson who could mold those egos together and get them to play together, they’re going to play selfishly and not as a team. I predict that you’ll see a season like the one after Shaq and Jackson left the last time where the Lakers were in 2nd to last place in the leaque. As a Laker hater, it’ll be a beautiful thing.

  17. CELTIC-PRIDE says:


  18. hoover says:

    obviously a waste of time………….. again

  19. mrrg says:

    what a pathetic soap opera

    • Rick says:

      The NBA and owners are the blame for its loses in revenue. They only want to advertise certain players when the NBA as a whole is great. The WWE for example over hypes all of its athletes and it works. The NBA should adopt that style of advertising and show man ship instead of trying to be so by the book and boring calling tons of fouls. Let the guys play and have more fun. The fans love a physical and entertaining game.