No indication sides will negotiate today


No indication sides will negotiate today

There has been no indication as to whether NBA commissioner David Stern will meet with his union counterpart, Billy Hunter, one more time before today's Stern-appointed 5 p.m. deadline for the NBA Players Association to accept the league's proposal.

Following the last bargaining session, which ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Stern said at the time that the current offer would be taken off the table at 5 p.m. today, and would be replaced with a less appealing one.

The NBAPA and 29 of its 30 team representatives - the Boston Celtics, whose team rep is Paul Pierce, were the only team not represented at the meeting - announced they were rejecting the league's latest proposal but hoped to continue bargaining through today's deadline.

One of the biggest issues throughout the bargaining session has been how to divide up the basketball-related income. Following Tuesday's meeting, the union authorized its members to potentially accept a 50-50 split of the BRI, which the owners had been seeking in their latest proposal.

In exchange for that, the union wants the NBA to address a number of their system-related concerns, such as contract lengths and taxes on teams that surpass the luxury tax threshold.

Hunter sounded confident that he could convince Stern to not just take his call, but also to re-convene and continue negotiations today and through the 5 p.m. deadline.

In an interview with NBA-TV, Stern indicated that he would take Hunter's call "as a sign of respect and courtesy. What my response will be, will be guided to some degree by the Labor Relations Committee."

Convincing his ownership group to increase their offer on the BRI to a 50-50 split was not an easy sell for Stern. Going back to them to make additional tweaks to system-related issues doesn't sound like it's an option the owners - or Stern - are willing to seriously consider.

Stern was asked if there was any wiggle room in regards to system issue from the league's perspective.

"As of Saturday or Sunday morning at 3 a.m., there was none left," Stern said.

Still, it's hard to imagine that with both sides this close to getting a deal done, and the union once again offering concessions to the owners, that they won't gather one last time to see if they can iron out a deal.