During a press conference this afternoon president of the players’ association Derek Fisher announced that the players rejected the offer from the owners. Fisher, along with Billy Hunter and player representatives from 29 of the 30 NBA teams, stood and announced that they were not able to accept the current deal but are still open to negotiations.
NBA commissioner David Stern had offered a 50-50 revenue split and some additional salary cap restraints, giving the union until Wednesday to accept the deal before the league’s proposal got worse. Fisher did say that they are willing to negotiate terms that might make the 50-50 split more acceptable for the players.
“We’re open-minded on potential compromises on the number, but there are things in the system that are not up for negotiation for us to have a season.”
One of the last remaining system issues includes a smaller mid-level exception for luxury tax teams, as well as an additional penalty for teams that exceed the tax line multiple times, and finally a ban on sign-and-trade deals for teams that are over the luxury tax. The belief from the union is that these different propositions will reduce the players’ negotiating power in the future as well as constrict player movement.
Hunter said he would call Stern either tonight or tomorrow morning and attempt to schedule another meeting. He also stated that he has heard from “underground” sources that if the two sides are unable to agree by 5:00 PM EST tomorrow the league will cancel the games scheduled up through Christmas.