That's the vibe coming from both sides of the NBA lockout: the month of September will be a (hopefully) meeting-filled grind. After Wednesday's bargaining session in New York, both the player's representatives and owners' reps dropped the public rhetoric, but vowed to meet more frequently as the NBA season is, quite quickly, in jeopardy. According to player rep Derek Fisher, the two sides are still far apart philosophically, but if bargaining sessions are scheduled with more frequency than the last two (which were a month apart), perhaps some of this ground can be covered. NBA commissioner David Stern has yet to set any deadlines, but in about two weeks, it'll be impossible not to.
NBA camps are scheduled to begin Oct. 1. The regular season schedule is set to begin Nov. 1. If the 1998 lockout is any indication, the league needs about three weeks (a set free agency period, at least a week of camp, a couple of pre-season games) to jumpstart the season. That means we're looking at-around a Oct. 10-ish deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement if the league wants to start on time. During the 1998 lockout, the "drop-dead date" for losing the entire season was set at Jan. 7, so it's safe to assume that if it gets to that point, a similar date would be set.
Also, I caught up today with Sixers coach Doug Collins. Just as a reminder, there's some intense rules right now regarding coaches and team officials talking with and about players. So, if you're wondering why we're not talking about the players, that's why! Collins has spent a good portion of his summer in San Diego, but also spent time in Philly during the 2011 NBA Draft, to be present during player workouts. We'll have a more detailed article later this week about Collins' summer, but just as an update, here's one thing Collins said:
"My coaches and I are going to get back together the day after Labor Day. We’re going to fly in Sept. 6 and get together, and we’re going to spend about 10 days together. We’re just going to go through all of our stuff: review last season and watch a lot of tape. We’re going to start planning training camp as if it’s going to go on as scheduled.
At that same time, I’m going to bring in four or five guys because we’re going to eventually have to hire an assistant coach to take over for Quin. We have some work that we can do, so that’s what we’re going to be planning on doing."
Quin Synder, who spent last season on Collins' staff, left over the summer to take an assistant coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers will likely be hiring an assistant coach to replace him sometime during September, which is also around the time (mid-September) when the NBA Board of Governors will likely approve (if they approve!) the sale of the team to the investment group led by Joshua Harris.
We'll be holding a Live Chat tomorrow (Friday) at 1 p.m here on Philly.com. We'll be covering all topics surrounding the Sixers and the NBA. Also, to follow on Twitter, you can do that here: Deep Sixer.
Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.