Latest NBA meeting wraps, another session Friday
Reporters in New York say Wednesday's meeting between NBA leaders, including Commissioner David Stern, and players' representatives has concluded and another session will be held Friday with a larger contingent of owners and players.
ESPN reported Wednesday morning National Basketball Players Assn. Executive Director Billy Hunter is encouraging league superstars to attend Friday, and Yahoo Sports! quotes players' president and Lakers guard Derek Fisher as saying the sides could meet through the weekend.
Fisher has told reporters at the scene there is a strong desire to get a deal done and end the NBA owners' lockout, which will reach three months Saturday. Yet, union attorney Jeffrey Kessler told reporters, "We are not on the verge of a deal."
One basketball official told The Times he had his "fingers crossed" over the possibility of bargaining success Friday.
The lockout was invoked with owners vowing to slash player salaries amid claims that 23 of 30 teams are losing money, and that the teams combined to lose $300 million in the 2010-11 season.
Players are willing to take a cut, and have already agreed to accept 4% less of basketball-related income than last season, but they are resistant to tolerating a hard salary cap that would deprive them of enjoying a spike in pay should the economy rebound and income accelerate in future years.