Reporting Tim Kephart
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NEW YORK (CBSMiami.com) – The National Basketball Players Association was supposed to gather in Miami on Tuesday for a union meeting to discuss the ongoing NBA lockout.
Instead, the NBPA will be traveling to New York for another round of bargaining sessions starting Tuesday and possibly extending into Wednesday.
The new bargaining sessions come just days after the league indefinitely postponed the start of training camps and canceled preseason games. Depending on the progress made this week, the NBA will be looking at cancelling more preseason games.
The NBA has said it has a drop-dead date of October 14 to get a new deal completed without missing any regular season games.
The lockout was initiated after NBA commissioner David Stern claimed multiple teams were losing tens of millions of dollars and that a new financial structure had to be put in place.
The NBPA has offered to cut its portion of the overall revenue pie from 57 percent to 53-54 percent. However, the owners want 50-plus percent for themselves and want to initiate a hard cap similar to the on the NFL uses.
NBA players have refused to give into a hard cap and want to keep the soft cap and luxury tax that were in place under the last collective bargaining agreement.
Player agents are pushing for the NBPA to decertify to put more pressure on the owners using anti-trust litigation. However, the NBPA has resisted decertification, especially with the regular season hanging in the balance.
Still, neither side has shown any sign of compromising with the other. Hard-line owners are insisting on the CBA protecting them from the bloated contracts they gave to bad players. Players, and their agents, want to be able to make as much money as possible.
Plus, with the NBA television contracts coming up for renewal in a few years, the players don’t want their revenue growth capped at an arbitrary number set for today’s contract numbers.
All the while, the NBA and its players are pushing fans further and further away from the game. The league experienced widespread popularity thanks to the Miami Heat and their title run.
Now, the league and the players have to act fast or risk imploding the league’s ratings and standing in the sports world for years.