The NBA has delivered to the NBA Player's Association its "last, best" offer. The union will take this proposal back to its player representatives to determine if it's good enough to put before the league's 450 players for a vote.
Union chief Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher said the union will meet with the 30 player representatives -- one from each team -- on either Monday or Tuesday of next week. At that time, the union will outline the NBA's revised proposal to the player reps to see if enough movement was made to warrant a vote.
The proposal would need a majority vote from both NBA owners and NBA players to be ratified. NBA commissioner David Stern confirmed that he had approval from his side to pass the current proposal.
Stern says the NBA is "awaiting" the union's response on this proposal. He also said that this proposal comes with the guarantee of a 72-game season beginning Dec. 15. To accomodate a 72-game season, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver explained that the NBA Playoffs would be pushed back a week, as would the NBA Finals.
Stern also said that if the union rejects this revised proposal, the owners next offer will revert to an offer of only 47 percent of basketball revenue for the players (the current deal is said to be a 50-50 split) and even more limiting system issues.
Fisher admitted that the union would very seriously need to consider the ramifications of rejecting this latest deal, taking into account Stern's assertion that the next deal the union sees would be much worse.
Both Hunter and Fisher were clearly disappointed with the revised deal. Silver and Stern even admitted to understanding why the union would be disappointed, but essentially the two said the NBA and the owners firmly believe the system changes will improve the game.
“It’s not the greatest proposal in the world,” Hunter said, “but I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership.”
“We very much want to make the deal that’s on the table,” Stern said. “But I don’t have a crystal ball, I just have the ability to hope that the players will accept this revised proposal from the NBA.”
The two sides will take the weekend off.
And we'll have an answer -- some answer, any answer -- early next week when the players decide whether to vote on this current proposal or reject it outright.
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