NBA Players Want Their Voices Heard
With collective bargaining between NBA owners and players reaching a pivotal point this week, 43 players attended a union meeting in New York City on Tuesday, with 29 of the NBA’s 30 teams represented.
The turnout, which included Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, allowed the union to get what president Derek Fisher called “an extremely specific and focused gauge on where our players stand at this point.”
Their position kept the start of the 2011-12 NBA season out of view.
“Our orders are clear,” Fisher said. “Right now, the current offer that is on the table from the NBA is not one that we can accept.”
Fisher said the union is willing to continue to negotiate with the league, even if those talks called for the players association to concede more of its share of basketball revenue. But Fisher said certain systemic issues in a ratified collective bargaining agreement such as sign-and-trades, the mid-level exception and luxury tax penalties still must be negotiated before a deal can be reached.
NBA Commissioner David Stern had given the players union until the close of business Wednesday to accept the league’s latest offer or future proposals will revert to a smaller share of revenue for players and a more restrictive salary cap.
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