NEW YORK (AP) — Top negotiators for the NBA and players’ association met Sunday night in perhaps the last chance to avoid canceled regular-season games.
Commissioner David Stern has set Monday as the deadline for a new labor deal to be reached before the first two weeks of the season will be canceled. No meetings had been planned since he set the deadline Tuesday, before the sides agreed to talk Sunday.
Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, owners Peter Holt of San Antonio and Glen Taylor of Minnesota, and senior vice president and deputy general counsel Dan Rube met with union executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher of the Lakers and vice president Maurice Evans of the Wizards, and attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner.
The meeting comes two days after the union said the league insisted it accept a 50-50 split of revenues as a condition to meet. Instead, the precondition was dropped, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the details were to remain private.
No talks had been expected after Friday’s developments, when the league said it had been willing to meet on other issues but confirmed it wouldn’t go beyond a 50-50 split. Union executive director Billy Hunter had planned to fly to Los Angeles on Monday for a regional meeting with members.
But his travel plans could change if there is enough progress Sunday.
Owners brought the idea of the 50-50 split to players on Tuesday, which they rejected. They were guaranteed 57 percent of basketball revenues in the previous collective bargaining agreement and have said they wouldn’t go below 53 percent in a new deal.