NEW YORK -- The Celtics’ Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were among the nearly two dozen players engaged in NBA labor negotiations today at a Manhattan hotel. Superstars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul also attended the session and many stood united behind players’ association president Derek Fisher (pictured speaking), who said the two sides continue to work on a new deal.
The results were positive considering both sides met for more than four hours at a plush eastside Manhattan hotel and agreed to meet again today, attempting to secure a full regular season that is scheduled to begin in one month.
According to Fisher and NBA commissioner David Stern, no new proposals were discussed but Stern addressed the media last night with a definitive agenda, making it a point to dispel reports that he would cancel the entire season if a deal is not reached by this weekend. He also revealed that the league’s owners plan to triple their revenue sharing amount to $180 million in the first two years of a new agreement and quadruple that number in the third year.
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said revenue sharing was one of three major issues that needed to be addressed and the players’ association was satisfied with the owners’ projections. The other two are the salary cap structure and Basketball Related Income (BRI).
“It’s good news that we’re meeting tomorrow,” Stern said. “I don’t want to make a projection (on a potential deal by the weekend), other than two say both sides have expressed a willingness and desire to make a deal and both sides agree that the consequences of not making a deal lead us to the prospect of possibly losing regular season games.
“And we agreed, once you start to lose them and players start to lose paychecks and owners lose money then positions on both sides will harden. And those are the enormous consequences that I referred to (Wednesday).”
Talks became contentious at times during the 4-hour session but it appeared that both sides were amicable when the meeting ended. Ten owners attended the meeting but that did not include Board of Governors member Wyc Grousbeck of the Celtics or Dallas Mavericks’ owner Marc Cuban.
“Just negotiations, I’ve been there before so I didn’t go in there thinking I was going to get a deal done,” Allen told the Globe. “I’m always encouraged. It was good dialogue between both sides.”