NBA union still pessimistic about season
The refusal of NBA players to accept the hard salary cap resulted in a stalemate of discussions for collective bargaining with the league on Tuesday, putting the training camp beginning, pre-season, and regular season in jeopardy.
Derek Fisher, president of the players union, expressed his pessimism about the NBA season’s starting on time.
Billy Hunger, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, also agreed at the low chance of the season’s starting on time, saying, “We’re a bit discouraged.”
He added that they were not sure that there would not be further damages or delay in trying to get the season off and running.
He shared that the owners did not seem inclined at this stage to budge from the position that they had set themselves.
David Stern, NBA commissioner, did not agree with the pessimistic view but admitted that they did not have a good day.
The two parties have made a move toward each other on issues regarding the basketball revenue split, with the players being willing to give room for a “significant” sacrifice financially.
However, the owners and players still remain at odds when it comes to the salary cap system. The owners prefer the hard cap without any exceptions, while the players lean towards the soft cap system that used to be in place during the previous collective bargaining agreement, which has since expired.
The meeting began around 9:30A.M., but the owners had already met for almost three hours on a separate occasion to brainstorm ways in order to reach a compromise with the players regarding the hard cap system.
Stern described the owners as being “completely unified” in their view that the league needed a system that would allow 30 teams to compete.
They reportedly went back to the players to tell them that despite their ideas, it just did not make sense to respond to a non-negotiable demand that the players had of having everything stay the way it was.
They added that it would be best if everyone went back and just reported to their respective sides on the meetings they would be having on Thursday, and they would just be in touch.
The league claimed that they had losses of almost $640 million during the last two seasons, and expressed their belief that a hard cap was needed if they hoped to restore their profits and reach a competitive balance.
Adam Silver, Deputy Commissioner, commented that they were having trouble accepting the way that the label of a hard cap system seemed to be the reason why the negotiations were breaking apart.
When Stern was asked why the players were resisting the hard cap, he responded that it seemed to be an emotional attachment.
Silver, on the other hand, said the players should speak up for themselves, insisting that the system does not necessarily limit salaries. The system reportedly aims at distributing the talent and salaries in a way that was different from how they currently did it.