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article imageNBA: CBA negotiations reach deadline day

By John Louie S. Ramos     Jun 29, 2011 in Sports
New York - Team owners and representatives from the players' union will meet Thursday in New York, just hours before the expiration of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, to negotiate a last minute CBA agreement and perhaps to avoid a lockout.
The current CBA, which was negotiated six years ago, is set to expire at the end of the day. However, team owners and the players' union remains "worlds apart" in critical issues and aspects of the CBA including salary cap and league revenue-sharing.
The negotiations need to make "significant progress" in order to avoid a dreaded lockout, the Associated Press reports. The last NBA lockout came in 1999 resulting into a shortened NBA season, significant drops in gate attendance and television ratings and hundred millions in lost salaries and league revenues.
Team owners are pushing for a harder salary cap as 17 out of the 30 NBA teams have lost money last year. In fact, storied NBA franchises such as the New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings experienced well-documented financial woes during the season, resulting to the Hornets being sold to the NBA while the Kings almost relocating to Anaheim, California.
NBA Commissioner David Stern proposed a “flex cap” but the players’ union were unmoved by the proposal. Players’ union president and L.A. Lakers veteran guard Derek Fisher even described Stern’s proposed “flex cap” as a “distortion of reality.”
For their part, the players’ union agreed a pay cut of $500 million to be distributed over the next five years.
Last week, NBA players including the Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and Jason Terry of the NBA champions Dallas Mavericks attended CBA talks, wearing t-shirts bearing the words “STAND” sending a message of player solidarity.
Garnett delivered an inspired speech and even spoke his willingness to forfeit his $18.8 million, if and when a lockout is declared.
The players’ union seems firm with their stand as Fisher was even quoted as saying that "there are certain parts of it (CBA) we (players’ union) have no interest in moving on and right now that's where we stand."
Team owners and representatives from the players’ union can still meet after the expiration of current CBA but that depends on the progress of the talks scheduled Thursday. With just hours before the June 30th deadline, the NBA is on the verge of experiencing its first lockout since 1999.
More about NBA, cba talks, Lockout, derek fisher, David stern
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