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Abbott: Paul Allen Was In Labor Meeting To Watch Jeffrey Kessler?

Last week, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler publicly pointed their fingers at Portland Trail Blazers Paul Allen, whom they accused of being responsible for delivering an ultimatum that led to a breakdown in labor negotiations. Henry Abbott of TrueHoop.com offers an alternate explanation for Allen's presence. ------------------------------------ Much was made of Portland owner Paul Allen's appearance in last week's mediated session. The suggestion was that he was there to send a message that owners were holding a hard line. NBA sources, however, say it was nothing of the sort. In fact, they say, he was there at the invitation of the NBA's negotiators to watch Kessler. Allen was one of several owners who thought Stern and Silver had made players an overly generous offer of 50 percent of basketball-related income. The league's lead negotiators essentially replied: Go see for yourself. You think you can get Kessler to go for 47 percent? Good luck to you. ------------------------------------ Labor talks have since taken an optimistic turn. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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