NBA Labor Talks Continue After 16-Hour Session

NBA Labor Talks Continue After 16-Hour Session – Marathon. The sides resumed talks about 10 a.m. Wednesday, about eight hours after they broke for the night on labor talks Tuesday evening, but no NBA bargaining had been expected Wednesday or Thursday, since the owners have board meetings already scheduled.

However, instead their labor relations committee came back for further discussions with the players’ association executive committee. Neither side commented on Tuesday’s talks at the request of mediator George Cohen.

Commissioner David Stern wanted a deal to bring to his owners this week, otherwise he warned more games may be canceled. Already the first two weeks of the season – exactly 100 games – have been lost.

With the sides unable to make any real headway in recent weeks on the two main issues that divide them, they welcomed the presence of Cohen, who also spent 16 days trying to resolve the NFL’s labor dispute in February and March. Their first day with him produced a bargaining session that was more than twice as long as any previous one since owners locked out players when the old collective bargaining agreement expired June 30.

The issues between the players and owners are the fact that the players believe owners’ attempts to make the luxury tax more punitive and limit the use of spending exceptions will effectively create a hard salary cap, which they say they will refuse to accept. Also, each side has formally proposed receiving 53 percent of basketball-related income after players were guaranteed 57 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

Thus far the dispute has cost the league all of truing camp and preseason games and they have canceled the first two weeks of the season that was due to start on November 1st. Without a deal this week, Stern may have to decide when a next round of cancellations would be necessary.

Sources now say that the biggest victory of this exercise may be the fact things did not break off. “I would not read anything else into it,” said one source from the room. “It was positive in that it did not blow up and we’re going to meet again.”