Atlanta Hawks: Owners’ latest final offer includes 72-game season
NBA reps and union officials emerged from their meeting at about 11 p.m. No deal. Here is the full union press conference and here is the league.
- Owners made some changes to the previous proposal that was rejected by the union. David Stern said it’s now take-it-or-leave it: “We have made our revised proposal and are not planning to make another one.”
- The players don’t like deal but they are considering it. Billy Hunter called it “not the greatest proposal in the world.” He plans to talk it over with the 30 team reps but for some reason it won’t happen until Monday or Tuesday. Hunter said it’s a course of action that was endorsed by the players on the executive committee. “I have an obligation to at least present it to membership, so that’s what we are going to do,” Hunter said.
- Stern said the league would wait until the players meet and decide on the deal. If they don’t accept the offer, then the league’s “revised negotiation position” would become the 47-percent BRI, “flex” cap deal that he threatened if the union didn’t accept the previous deal by Wednesday.
- Hunter didn’t rule out the union eventually accepting the deal on the table: “It depends on the direction we get from the player reps.”
- Union decertification is still in play.
- Stern said the owners’ offer is based on a squeezing in a 72-game season that opens on Dec. 15. Deputy commish Adam Silver said the start of the playoffs and the Finals would be moved back a week. That would mean a very tough schedule for players.
- The players continue to object to system issues that include sign-and-trades and mid-level exceptions for tax-paying teams. “I can’t say on any one of them that they came off of [their position] the way we would like,” Fisher said. Adrian Wojnarowski says owners “barely moved” on important issues.
- So basically Hunter and Fisher will present a plan they don’t seem to like to the player reps. It seems they don’t have a choice.
- “We feel like there is nothing to talk about except our willingness to move off [our position],” Hunter said. “That’s why we need to meet with with the player reps.”
- “We will bring the player reps up to speed on what I guess is called the ‘revised proposal’ that the NBA has made,” Fisher said. “And realize that this is the last best offer and make a decision at that point.”
- Hunter said there also were 30 to 40 “ancillary issues” that needed to be addressed. He said they included the draft age limit, commissioner discipline of players and mandated off days.
- Stern: “We have done everything possible given our goals of a sound economic model and having the most competitive league. The union raised some issues and we discussed those with the [labor] committee and we moved as far as we could move. So we are at where we are at. I’m optimistic that the NBA owners will approve it if the union approves it, and we await the response from the union. We’ve done our best.”
- Deputy commish Adam Silver said he understand why the union is struggling with accepting rules that will reduce their freedom to move from team to team and also substantially reduce their share of revenue. “For any group of employees that is difficult to take,” Silver said. “I understand from the union’s standpoint it is a difficult pill to swallow right now. But I think we will be proven right and that [with the proposed CBA] this will be a better league for the players, the teams and the fans.”
- A French reporter told Hunter, Fisher and the other union execs that they appeared “dissipated” and wondered if that meant they were defeated. That launched Hunter into a great rant in which he described what sounded like awful conditions in the negotiating room. “It’s been a long haul,” Hunter said.
- CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger pulled a Perry and froze up when called on to ask a question. He said he forgot what he was going to ask.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat