|NBA Commissioner Expects Talks to Continue Before Labour Day|
Thursday, 25 August 2011 23:28
David Stern, NBA Commissioner believes contract talks are set to continue before Labour Day hopefully ending the dispute before the date.
Officials from the league and players' association will meet again next week. It will be only the second meeting involving both sides' leadership since the lockout started July 1.
"If Labour Day comes and goes without us huddled in ready to kiss off our Labour Day weekend to make this deal, then we may be headed to a bad place," Stern said during an ESPN.com podcast earlier this month.
Next week's session will include top negotiators for both sides: Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver, and union executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisherof the Lakers.
The sides hoped the meeting would be early in the week, though that could change if expected bad weather from Hurricane Irene affects travel to New York.
After an Aug. 1 meeting, Fisher said the sides hoped to meet at least two to three times before the end of the month, preferably on consecutive days for those like himself who must travel to New York.
There hasn't been much to talk about. Stern was disappointed in the players' lack of movement in the Aug. 1 meeting, and the league filed an unfair labour practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and a lawsuit against the players the next day.
The union, already fed up with the owners' desires for pay cuts and a new salary cap system in a new collective bargaining agreement, had already filed its own complaint with the NLRB.
With no progress so far, many feel the NBA will lose games to a work stoppage for only the second time in its history.
The players made the last proposal on June 30 and had hoped the owners would submit the next one. Stern has said previously that offers only get worse after a lockout starts but recently told AP it would be wrong to assume the owners are done making proposals.
"We're always going to sit down and talk and discuss and probe and prod, and ask questions of each other and deal with hypotheticals, so there are many different ways to propose things. So we're not through at all," he said.