Commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver met with players’ association executive director Billy Hunter and members of their staffs yesterday, and there are more discussions planned for later this week.
A league spokesman would not disclose what was discussed. A full round of negotiations is scheduled for Friday, and will include the league’s labor relations committee and the union’s executive committee.
The owners and players are negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the deal that expires June 30.
The sides met three times during the Finals. They remain far apart, creating fear there will be a lockout July 1.
James explains LeBron James ended his first Miami Heat season with a clarification.
James said comments he made after the Heat lost Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks may have been misunderstood, and that when it comes to the overwhelming criticism of himself and his team, “not only myself, but everyone has to move on with their lives.’’
James raised eyebrows with the way he responded to a question about people being happy to see the Heat lose, saying then that those critics “have to get back to the real world.’’
After the team held its exit meetings, James said he’s “not superior to anyone’’ and he knows his comments could have been interpreted differently.
James offered some respect to the new champs. He posted a message on LeBronJames.com congratulating the Mavericks, especially Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry.
Parade plans in Dallas A crowd of 250,000 is expected when the newly crowned NBA champion Mavericks are honored with a parade tomorrow in Dallas.
Mayor Dwayne Carraway said the city’s goal is “to make sure everyone is safe’’ along the route, which will start at the Dallas Convention Center downtown and wind its way to American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks finished off the Heat Sunday for the first championship in the franchise’s 31-year history.
The team said owner Mark Cuban, players, coaches, and front office personnel will be part of the parade. Former owner and team founder Don Carter also will participate, the team announced.
Officials warned fans to be ready to deal with sweltering heat. Cuban has said he will pay parade costs incurred by the city.
While the Mavericks know they’ll have Nowitzki back next season, it remains to be seen who will be part of Nowitzki’s supporting cast. Starting center Tyson Chandler, guard J.J. Barea, injured scorer Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Brian Cardinal, and Peja Stojakovic are free agents. Meanwhile, Cuban’s idea to celebrate an NBA championship with something other than a ring is being soundly rejected by his players.
“We know he always wants to do something different, something bigger,’’ Nowitzki said. “But the ring is just so classic. I think I would vote for a ring.’’
Clippers secure Griffin The Los Angeles Clippers have exercised their fourth-year contract option on Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, keeping him with the club through 2012-13 . . . The Charlotte Bobcats introduced former Portland GM Rich Cho as general manager . . . Ashlyn Horry, the 17-year-old daughter of Robert Horry, died Tuesday in Houston after battling a rare genetic condition . . . Suns swingman Mickael Pietrus exercised the one-year player option on his contract.