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Steve Aschburner

Letter: Head of NBA coaches group urges labor 'truce'


Posted Nov 20 2011 8:54PM

Muted by the threat of heavy fines for voicing their opinions or even having contact with players, NBA coaches largely have been kept out of the fray in the league's increasingly bitter labor dispute.

But that changed a little Sunday when the head of the NBA Coaches Association urged the owners and the players to return to the bargaining table and salvage what's left of the 2011-12 season.

"I'm urging this call for an immediate return to discussions by the parties," Michael Goldberg, executive director of the association wrote in an open letter released to the media Sunday. "The upcoming NBA season must be saved. To do otherwise will cause a self-inflicted economic blow to an enterprise that over the years through the hard work of players, team owners and the League Office has become a great global brand, but, like every business operating in today's fragile economic landscape, one that is more susceptible to 'decline and fall.' "

Goldberg served as general counsel to the American Basketball Association beginning in 1973. In 1978, he was appointed to his current post with the NBA Coaches Association, which represent head and assistant coaches as well as alumni.

But Goldberg said he was not representing the coaches with his letter. Instead he was expressing his individual concerns about the lockout, which reached its 143rd day Sunday.

"There is no time to waste," Goldberg wrote. "History has proven that all sports labor conflicts are ultimately solved. No doubt all sides are concerned about their financial well-being and rightly so. But everyone involved must now think beyond their own interests, check out the daily financial headlines, and work towards a negotiated solution now.

"Short of this all parties will risk killing the goose that lays so many golden eggs for so many connected with it."

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA for 25 years. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

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