In the first sign that NBA players and owners want to avoid a long lockout, the two sides have agreed to meet Monday in New York, according to an NBA source.
It will be the first official negotiating session since the owners instituted the lockout on July 1 and it's a positive sign considering the two sides waited 46 days to meet during the previous lockout in 1998. Does the NFL settlement have anything to do with the NBA suddenly deciding to meet? Who knows? But it is an indication that the two sides realize the seriousness of the situation.
The NBA preseason does not begin for about 10 weeks, giving the two sides plenty of time to talk and they will likely need it because they are far apart on several key issues, including a hard salary cap, revenue sharing and percentage of Basketball Related Income.
Commissioner David Stern, expected to attend Monday's meeting, said 22 teams lost money last season while the players association disputes that claim. The owners want to completely reshape the financial framework of the league while the players want to make adjustments.
It is believed that several struggling owners are willing to cancel the season because they would lose less money than if the season continued with the current collective bargaining agreement.