HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Just to make clear where the league stands on its weekend proposal, NBA Commissioner David Stern sent a letter to the union detailing exactly what he is prepared to do by and after Wednesday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, according to The New York Times.
If the union agrees to the league’s latest proposal (or “ultimatum” as union president Derek Fisher termed it), it’s time to get down to the business of basketball.
But if not, the “reset” proposal signals a serious rollback in concessions previously made, including a shift from the 50-50 split of BRI to 47 percent for the players, a roll back of current contracts, the implementation of a hard salary cap and the reduction of contract lengths..
More details from the Howard Beck of The Times:
The salary rollback, which was part of the N.B.A.’s first controversial proposal in 2010, had not been included in any league proposal for many months, and it was not publicly mentioned by Stern when he announced the ultimatum Saturday night.
But the rollback was included in the letter Stern sent to Billy Hunter, the union’s executive director. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.
The union has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to accept the N.B.A.’s last proposal or have it replaced by the reset proposal, Stern wrote.
“Rather than simply proceeding, as we could have, to offer a less favorable proposal at this time, the N.B.A. is providing an additional period of time for the players association to consider our 50/50 proposal,” Stern wrote. “We are hopeful that the prospect of a less favorable outcome for the players will prompt the players association to realize that the best deal that can be reached is the one the N.B.A. is prepared to make right now.”
Stern closes, “Billy, I sincerely hope that we can reach an agreement over the next few days.”
With the union representatives from each team set for a Tuesday meeting in New York, you can bet Stern’s letter will be a hot topic on an already packed agenda. The itemized differences in each proposal detailed in Beck’s story are startling but clear. One is obviously much better than the other. That’s why the reports of the union seeking additional meetings with the league before the deadline shouldn’t surprise you. We’re down to crunch time.
In a lockout filled with hollow deadlines, Wednesday’s is shaping up as the most serious one yet.