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article imageNBA: Team owners, players' union 'worlds apart' in CBA talks

By John Louie S. Ramos     Jun 26, 2011 in Sports
With less than a week before the expiration of the NBA's current collective bargaining agreement, team owners and the players' union seem "worlds apart" in negotiating a new CBA.
L.A. Lakers veteran point guard Derek Fisher, also the players' union president, commented, Friday, that “there’s still such a large gap” and that the “they’re (team owners) asking us (players) to go to a place where they want us to go."
The players' union proposed $500 million in salary reduction, which will be distributed over the next five years. However, team owners didn't agree on the proposal and insisted on their need of a harder salary cap. Reportedly, 17 out of the 30 teams in the NBA have lost money last year.
Stern earlier proposed a "flex cap" but the players' union seems unmoved with the proposal. As of this writing, no new proposal has been presented by either camp while the possibility of a lockout looms greatly.
The last NBA lockout came in 1999 when the team owners and players' union failed to forge a new CBA. The 1999 lockout resulted into a shorter regular season, significant drops in television ratings and hundred millions in lost player salaries and league revenues.
Since the start of last season, team owners and the players’ union have met on several occasions as they try to negotiate a new CBA which will replace the current 2005 version.
Meanwhile, several NBA players including Boston's Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and Jason Terry of the NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks attended the CBA talks last Friday wearing gray T-shirts bearing the words "STAND,” sending a message of "solidarity."
The next meeting between the team owners and the players' union is scheduled hours before the June 30 expiration date, either Wednesday or Thursday. The NBA's Board of Governors are also scheduled to meet in Dallas, possibly to vote for or against a lockout.
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