By Brian Mahoney ,AP
NEW YORK — Officials from the NBA and players’ association will meet Wednesday, less than a week after three days of talks with a federal mediator couldn’t produce a deal to end the lockout, a person with knowledge of the plans said.
Talks broke down last Thursday after players said owners insisted they agree to a 50-50 split of revenues before they would further discuss the salary cap system. By not reaching an agreement last week, the NBA will likely be forced to cancel more games to go with the two weeks that were already scrapped.
There was a far nastier tone than usual to the breakdown, with union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers accusing Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and Spurs owner Peter Holt, chairman of the league’s labor relations committee, of lying during their press conference.
But just as they have multiple times this month when they walked away from the table without another meeting scheduled, the sides are getting back at it relatively quickly.
The meeting, first reported by the Daily News of New York, will be small groups from each side, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations were to remain private. Commissioner David Stern will take part after he was forced to miss the session last Thursday because of an illness.
Stern said without a deal last week, he feared games could be lost right through Christmas. The sides tried, spending 30 hours together while meeting for three straight days for the first time since the lockout began July 1. They made some progress on minor issues, but continue to be stuck on the two main ones.
Players proposed lowering their guarantee of basketball-related income to 52.5 percent, leaving the sides about US$100 million apart annually based on last season’s revenues. They are also sparring over the length of contracts and the raises attached to them, along with the penalties teams would face for exceeding the luxury tax level.