NBA-NBPA Saturday Negotiations Conclude With No Deal; Blazers Owner Paul Allen Attended Labor Meetings

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, under the direction of Federal Mediator George Cohen, resumed labor negotiations on Saturday afternoon in New York City and concluded after 1 a.m. local time.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that talks concluded with "no deal" being reached.

NBA commissioner David Stern said in a press conference following the talks that the NBA is now offering a deal to the NBPA which includes a BRI band that ranges from 49 percent to 51 percent for the players. If that deal, which included a number of components Stern said were suggested by Cohen, is not accepted by end of day Wednesday, the owners would modify their offer to 47 percent BRI for the players with a "flex cap" system. Stern also said that the NBPA rejected the NBA's current offer on Saturday.

"If we are unable to make a deal on those terms by the close of business on Wednesday, we will be making a new proposal, which we will also share very soon with the players in writing. [It] is multi-faceted, but for purposes of this press conference, it would be a 47 percent proposal, a flex cap, and lots of other issues that you have become familiar with. We hope that this juxtaposition [of offers] will cause the union to recess its position and accept the deal."

...
"I think it's fair to say that, speaking on behalf of the union, [NBPA lawyer Jeffrey] Kessler rejected the mediator's recommendations and our proposal," Stern said. "But hope springs eternal and we would love to see the union accept the proposal which is now on the table."    

NBPA president Derek Fisher struck a different tone in his comments, disputing Stern's account that some of the NBA's current proposals were first suggested by Cohen and saying that the NBPA had no plans to put the offer to a vote by its membership.

"Today is another very sad day for our fans, for our arena workers, our parking lot attendants, our vendors, a very frustrating, sad day. We, for sure, unequivocally made true, good-faith efforts to try and get this deal done tonight. And we're at a loss for why we could not close it out based on the moves that we made towards the NBA and the league in getting this deal done. We made moves that were extremely significant. We made economic moves that were a genuine attempt to try to close the gap between where we were and where the NBA is."

"Right now, we've been given the ultimatum and our answer is that's not acceptable to us."    

"There's not a deal that we can present to take a vote on. That's our job as an executive committee, our staff, our executive director. That's a call we have been elected to make... I cannot say at this point that we would call a general body meeting to take a vote on what has been proposed at this point."

Prior to the meeting's conclusion, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported that the meeting was "going very well" while Michael Lee of the Washington Post reported that the two sides were "very close" on a new labor deal. 

David Aldridge of NBA.com reported that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen attended the meetings in person. Prior to the labor negotiations, the NBA's owners met among themselves in a separate meeting.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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