AP Source: NBA won’t talk without 50-50 deal
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – A person close to the NBA players’ association says the league is refusing to meet with the union unless it agrees to a 50-50 split of revenues.
The union is seeking a session with league negotiators before Monday’s deadline to avoid canceling games, though the latest disagreement makes it seem even more likely the NBA will lose a piece of the regular season.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because talks are being kept private, tells The Associated Press the union will go on with plans to meet with players Saturday in Miami, where a number of All-Stars are playing in a charity game, and Monday in Los Angeles.
Commissioner David Stern has said the first two weeks would be canceled without a deal by Monday.
The AP left messages seeking comment with league officials.
The league discussed a 50-50 split with union officials Tuesday, but talks broke down soon after it was rejected. Players were guaranteed 57 percent of basketball-related income under the previous collective bargaining agreement and have proposed lowering it to 53 percent in a new deal.
No further talks have been scheduled, and union executive director Billy Hunter has said it could be a month or two before the sides meet again. And while there had been no formal discussions since Tuesday, there was an expectation they would try to talk sometime before the end of the weekend.
If not, the NBA will have its first shortened season since the 1998-99 schedule was reduced to 50 games by a work stoppage. The entire preseason schedule has already been scrapped.
Each BRI percentage point is worth about $40 million dollars, so the sides are some $120 million apart in the first year of a deal, with the union proposing 53 percent and the league seeking the 50-50 split.