NBA, Player's Association work to avoid lockout

191544.jpg

NBA, Player's Association work to avoid lockout

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

LOS ANGELES As expected, the NBA and the player's union met on Friday during all-star weekend for about two hours in Beverly Hills, Calif.

And as expected, no consensus was reached on the best course of action to avoid a lockout with the current deal between the two factions set to expire June 30.

Union Executive Director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher met with the media following Friday's meeting with the ownership.

Fisher described the meeting as "constructive," with both sides showing a "commitment to trying to get this process done."

That will be easier said than done.

Because the NBA is looking for significant changes to the new CBA, avoiding a work stoppage will be difficult.

A hard salary cap, changes to the way guaranteed contracts are done, salary cuts and revenue sharing were among the topics discussed between the two sides.

"We talked about our willingness to negotiate and get a deal," Hunter said. "We spelled out some things we thought were impediments to getting a deal."

The fact that both sides are having dialogue is a definite sign of progress after some acrimonious exchanges a year ago.

Paul Pierce is the Celtics' union representative.

Although he was relatively new to the league, Pierce said he did attend meetings prior to the league's last work stoppage that delayed the start of the 1998-1999 season.

"I was part of it in 1998. I was a rookie, so I didn't know too much about it but I attended meetings," Pierce said. "This year, the players are really unified and carrying our league forward in the future. Not only veterans such as myself, but the young guys which is going to make itassociation we're trying to make the league great moving forward."

Avoiding a lockout would certainly help those efforts along.

While there are many who are pessimistic about a deal being struck between the players and the owners, Miami's LeBron James remains hopeful.

"I'm optimistic about it," he said. "Hopefully both sides can come away with an agreement that benefits both sides. No one wants to see a lockout, not the fans, not the players, not the owners. This game is too big and everyone enjoys it so much. Hopefully things can get situated before the start of the season."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

dl-celtics_talk.png

Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

In this week's jam packed episode of CSNNE.com's "Celtics Talk Podcast", Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk with former Celtic Leon Powe about this year's team, plus his role on the 2008 Championship squad. Powe tells some great stories about Kevin Garnett, and has an interesting take on Ray Allen not being invited to the reunion vacation Rajon Rondo is planning.

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher

Also included in this week's episode, Brian Scalabrine's interview with head coach Brad Stevens, plus the "Celtics PostUp" crew talks with Jae Crowder about his many nicknames, whether the 1st seed in the East is important, and his improvement on the floor.

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball said a bunch of crazy things Thursday during his appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Rich Keefe. Among them: He thinks that every white teenager gets a $100,000 car from their parents. 

MUST LISTEN: Leon Powe with some KG stories; Ray Allen not being invited to reunion by Rondo

The most notable for Celtics fans’ purposes as it relates to the chances of Lonzo Ball coming to Boston was that the father does not want the C’s to take the UCLA product with the potential first overall pick of the 2017 draft. He also vowed not to be a pain in Brad Stevens’ ass if the C’s do take the point guard. 

MORE FROM LAVAR BALL:

Ball was also asked about Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. He said that he doesn’t know Ainge and has never spoken to him, but he did have an interesting description of the scrappy Ainge’s playing days.  

“I don’t know anything about Danny Ainge, but I know when he was a player, he was one of them sticklers to get up under you, boy,” Ball said. “But I haven’t talked to him. I don’t know Danny Ainge, I just watched him play when he was younger and I knew for a white guy, you could elbow him in the face. He was going to get back up and keep playing.” 

Ball did not say whether he thinks his son would have a better playing career than Ainge, a one-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, but that should be assumed.