NBA labor talks resume
By BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer October 19, 2011 10:10AM
ADDS NAME OF MAN AT LEFT - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, right, arrives for labor talks between the NBA and players' association, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 in New York. NBA commissioner David Stern said last week during an interview with WFAN radio in New York that without a deal Tuesday, when the sides meet with federal mediator George Cohen, his "gut" was that there wouldn't be NBA basketball on Christmas. Man at left is NBA security agent Greg Robinson. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NEW YORK — NBA owners and players are meeting for a second straight day, shortly after finishing a 16-hour marathon with a federal mediator.
The sides resumed talks about 10 a.m. Wednesday, about eight hours after they broke for the night.
No bargaining had been expected Wednesday or Thursday, since the owners have board meetings schedules. But instead their labor relations committee came back for further discussions with the players’ association executive committee.
Neither side commented on Tuesday’s talks at the request of mediator George Cohen.
Commissioner David Stern wanted a deal to bring to his owners this week, otherwise he warned more games may be canceled. Already the first two weeks of the season — exactly 100 games — have been lost.
With the sides unable to make any real headway in recent weeks on the two main issues that divide them, they welcomed the presence of Cohen, who also spent 16 days trying to resolve the NFL’s labor dispute in February and March.
Their first day with him produced a bargaining session that was more than twice as long as any previous one since owners locked out players when the old collective bargaining agreement expired June 30.
Although the fact that talks didn’t break off was good news, one person with knowledge of the process said not to presume there was any serious progress. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of Cohen’s request.
Players believe owners’ attempts to make the luxury tax more punitive and limit the use of spending exceptions will effectively create a hard salary cap, which they say they will refuse to accept. Also, each side has formally proposed receiving 53 percent of basketball-related income after players were guaranteed 57 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.
Without a deal this week, Stern may have to decide when a next round of cancellations would be necessary. The season was supposed to begin Nov. 1, but all games through Nov. 14 have been scrapped, costing players about $170 million in salaries.