According to Ken Berger of CBS sports commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and Spurs owner Peter Holt met up in a private side bar with union president Derek Fisher and outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler along with two of the league’s biggest names, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. Apparently it was in this side meeting where, sensing that something big had to happen, Stern made an informal proposal that represented the owners biggest concession towards reaching an agreement to date.
A source close to the story said that Stern’s side proposal amounted to essentially a 50-50 split with no additional expense reductions over a seven-year proposal, with the seventh year being a players’ option. The framework of the deal leaves the sides much closer than the general perception in the media seems to be, somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million apart per season for the life of deal.
Berger’s reporting also indicates that after the two sides parted ways the players later came back with a counter proposal which the owners flatly rejected, so there is still nothing imminent in terms of an agreement and a lot can happen, both good and bad, over the next few days. Clearly tensions are still high and the stakes are bigger than ever but there is at least a glimmer of hope for NBA fans to hold on to.