NBA Looks Likely to Follow NFL into Lockout Over CBA Dispute

May 5, 2011

Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Association (NBA) players’ union, has claimed that the league owners latest offer of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is still unacceptable.

The former offer to the players was made last week by the NBA after its initial proposal sought a reduction of nearly US$800m in salaries for the 2011-12 season. NBA commissioner David Stern said last month that the league is projecting a $300 million loss for the campaign, meaning players wages from this season of $2.1bn would need to be reduced

In an interview with ESPN, Fisher stated: “Unfortunately, the proposal is very similar to the proposal the league submitted over a year ago. This last proposal doesn’t look close to what we were expecting.

“We are taking a close look at each piece of the proposal, and I along with my players and executive committee will be determining what next steps best move this process forward. I continue to work on this daily, take this very seriously, and have a responsibility to my players to try and get a deal done.”

The current agreement sees the players receive a 57 per cent cut of basketball-related income but is set to expire on June 30. If a new deal is not reached, the NBA is likely to follow in the footsteps of the National Football League (NFL) and become the second US major league this year to enter a lockout.

The NBA’s only work stoppage in its history came in 1998, and Fisher has pledged to work towards salvaging the situation, adding: “I will continue to urge our players to be prepared in the event of a lockout, but will remain steadfast in my efforts to drive this process forward.”