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Labor negotiators plan first post-NBA lockout talks

By Steve Aschburner,
Posted Jul 28 2011 7:27AM

Representatives of the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association will meet next week in New York for the first post-lockout negotiating session, sources confirmed to Wednesday.

The two sides have not met since June 30, the date that the last collective bargaining agreement expired. The date and time of next week's meeting was not confirmed, although various outlets were reporting that it could be as soon as Monday. The Web site carried a report Tuesday that a bargaining session would be held in the first two weeks of August.

Next week's session is expected to include key figures, from commissoner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver to NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and NBA players. Two meetings in July to finalize calculations related to 2010-11 basketball-related income (BRI) on which the NBA's player-compensation system is based were attended by staff members from both sides.

As informal deadlines go, a meeting next week at least would beat the time frame of the 1998 lockout. That summer, the two sides went from July 22 until Aug. 6 without a negotiating session. That lockout lasted until January, nearly torpedoing the entire season before a last-second agreement led to a 50-game regular season.

The NBA's owners voted to impose the current lockout after CBA talks in May and June failed to close a significant gap in their positions. The owners, citing losses by 22 of the league's 30 teams totaling $300 million for 2010-11, are seeking a reduction in the players' share of BRI from 57 percent to 50 percent. They also want a hard salary cap and shorter contracts.

The players want to continue under a soft-cap system and, in a meeting last month, offered to reduce their share of BRI to 54.3 percent. By their projections, that would reduce their compensation by more than $500 million over the life of a six-year CBA. The union also has urged the NBA owners to increase their revenue sharing as a way of creating more competitive balance, if not profitability.

Information from TNT analyst David Aldridge was also used to this report.


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