New York One down, two big issues to go for an agreement that would end the NBA lockout.
It may not happen this weekend, but players and owners both say they are working to get there soon enough that the season can start on time.
“All I’ll say is there was a sense of urgency in the room today,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said after the sides met for more than four hours Friday.
“I think the sense today from both sides is we really need to push this weekend. Time is of the essence, and I don’t think there was any disagreement about that by both parties.”
All-Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant joined the players’ association executive committee for what president Derek Fisher called an “engaging” meeting with the owners’ labor relations committee.
Afterward, Commissioner David Stern indicated that the union will OK the owners’ plan for enhanced revenue sharing. However, the salary cap structure remains an obstacle, as does the division of revenues between the sides.
They will return Saturday morning and are committed to talking through the weekend, knowing additional cancellations are likely necessary next week if they’re not close to a deal.
A week of preseason games have already been lost, and the Nov. 1 regular season opener would be in jeopardy without progress this weekend.
Some may have been made in regards to the league’s plan for enhanced revenue sharing among owners — which players had long argued as a way for the league to address its losses.
Stern emphatically denied that he would threaten to cancel the entire season this early even if things don’t go well this weekend. Still, he repeated that there would be danger in not making progress soon.
“Both sides agreed that the consequences of not making a deal lead us to the prospect of possibly at some point in the not distant future losing regular-season games,” Stern said.