"The current offer that is on the table from the NBA is not one that we can accept," NBPA president Derek Fisher said. "Our orders are also clear that we're willing to continue to negotiate and we are willing to continue discussions on potential compromises on our economics for some continued improvements in the system."
NBPA executive director Billy Hunter said he will reach out to NBA Commissioner David Stern and try to set up a meeting before Stern's 5 p.m. ET deadline Wednesday for players to accept the deal or get a worse offer.
The league is offering a 50-50 split of basketball-related income (BRI) and more restrictive system issues than in the last collective bargaining agreement. Stern said the offer will drop to a 53%-47% split in favor owners and a firm hard salary cap unless the union accepts the current offer.
Some players wanted to take a vote on the current offer, but Fisher said it was not what the player reps were ready to do.
"We're unified," Hunter said. "As much as they want to play basketball, they're still of the mind-set that they're not going to accept a bad deal, and that's the message we have to send to the other side. We're prepared to negotiate objectively and fairly but we expect the same thing from our adversary — the NBA and their representatives." Hunter said he heard the league would cancel games through Christmas if the deadline passed, but Stern later said, "We have made no such plans, we've had no such discussions."
The union understands the passing of the deadline could lead to an impasse and the possibility of a lost season. It also wants a deal that isn't so onerous to them. The issues have crystallized. "We've made the compromises that needed to be made on BRI, and it's now time for the NBA to make significant compromises on the system," Fisher said.
The union has gone from 57% to 50% of BRI, a $280 million difference in the first year of a new CBA. But it expects the NBA to relent on system issues — the means in which players can choose their employer and how the money is distributed to them, specifically in relation to taxpaying clubs. The union believes the league's proposal contains harsh restrictions on taxpaying teams will discourage teams from signing certain free agents.
source has much more in you're interested
President Clinton sides with labour, has a gift for Derek Fisher
Former President Bill Clinton wasted no time after the NBA Players Association's press conference on Tuesday in handing a gift to fellow Arkansan Derek Fisher, president of NBA Player's Association.
If you followed various staked-out NBA scribes on Twitter during Tuesday afternoon, you likely noticed the mentions of President Clinton hanging around the lobby of the hotel where the NBA Players Association was meeting to discuss its collective take on the NBA's latest collective bargaining agreement proposal. And, if you follow the NBA, you probably already know that the players have summarily rejected the league's latest offer, preferring to negotiate with the league on Wednesday before David Stern's threat to pull all "rational" offers off the table at the end of the business day.
What you may have missed following the televised presser was the part where Clinton walked up to Fisher and offered him a copy of Clinton's new book, entitled "Back to Work." If you're thinking I'm attempting a lame joke I can't blame you -- but this is actually the name of the book. Clinton is in New York to promote his newest offering on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" Tuesday night.