NBA owners and players will try to start to close what commissioner David Stern calls “a huge philosophical divide” when on Monday the two sides hold their first fullscale negotiating session since the owners ordered the lockout on July 1.
It’s more than just a huge philosophical divide. After the last session on June 30, the two sides were about $7 billion apart on a new collective bargaining agreement, according to the players’ union.
Since the NBA ordered its first shut-down since 1998, staffers from the two sides have met on several occasions.
“It’s not as if there hasn’t been any contact between the two sides,” one source said. “They have been talking.”
But not making progress, according to insiders. Monday’s session in Manhattan isn’t expected to result in any substantial movement, either, although it will include Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner and head of the owners’ labor committee, Peter Holt, union director Billy Hunter and players president Derek Fisher. After the last round of talks, Stern said that owners and players were still so far apart after almost two years of negotiating, they might have to go back to square one.
In ’98, it took 45 days for the two sides to meet after the start of the lockout. So the fact they’ve decided this time to return to the table sooner this time is considered progress. But neither side is optimistic, given that it will probably take the prospect of missing games to spur the two sides to move toward a settlement. The regular-season doesn’t start until Nov. 1. In the ’98 lockout, the league didn’t begin to cancel games until Oct. 13.
Learn more at the source