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NBA owners and players met Wednesday for about six hours in an attempt to get the proverbial ball rolling at the negotiating table and hopefully lay the ground work for a new CBA. This was the first bargaining session since August 1 and only the second since the lockout was imposed.
Union President and Lakers guard Derek Fisher said, ”Everyone loses if we don’t reach an agreement, that’s something that I think has always been understood.”
Neither side was willing to reveal their positions or if there was any progress, but they did acknowledge the need to work quickly if they wish to open the 2011-2012 season as scheduled.
“I will say we are not apart in terms of an agreed urgency on getting a deal done and we’re not apart on the need to avoid missing games,” said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver
Players and owners may be in agreement on that, but there are still a number of major issues that still stand in the way of an agreement. Commissioner David Stern said that there will be more meetings, but there were no official deadlines in mind. No one from either side would reveal any dates or locations for future meetings.
“We had a meeting before Labor Day and agreed that we would continue to meet,” Stern said
Fisher did say that there were no new proposals made. The last offer came on June 30 from the players but wasn’t well-received by the owners. The owners claimed that the deal would have increased player salaries too much in the sixth year. Too much was a tune of about $7 million.
The owners are fighting to lower player salaries significantly in any new deal, an idea that clearly the players aren’t fond of.
The only time that the NBA has lost games due to a lockout was in 1998. The ’98 lockout lasted from July 1 to January 20, 1999, shortening the NBA regular season to only 50 games.
Exhibition games are scheduled to begin on October 9 this year and the regular season on Nov 1. There is still time for both sides to find a happy medium, but not a lot of it.
Fisher said. “We’re very focused on getting a deal done and that’s how we’ll proceed from this point going forward.”
They’re going to have to proceed this way and ramp things up if they wish to save their season.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller