NBA owners and players union set for another meeting – Lockout Update
NBA owners and the National Basketball Players Association will meet again on Thursday it has been learnt. The two sides met on Wednesday in New York and reportedly agreed to meet again the next day. It will be the first time they have had back to back negotiating sessions since they began talking all that time ago.
The NBA is currently embroiled in a labour dispute. The players want to retain most of the components of the expired CBA while the owners want drastic changes. Failure to resolve those changes resulted in the league announcing a lockout on July 1st, 2011.
In the two months that followed both sides took shots at each other in the media, cancelled one meeting and held only two negotiating sessions. However in the last of those ground rules were reportedly agreed for continuing the dialogue.
They held the third meeting since the lockout began on Wednesday but gave nothing away to the general public regarding what was discussed. This is a strategy put in place by both sides to protect the process and NBA Commissioner David Stern only had few words after the meeting,
"We agreed that we're going to sit here for as many days as we can to see whether we can make progress, but we agreed not to characterize anything at all," Commissioner David Stern said.
The fact that they will meet again was perhaps the only thing that the two parties disclosed after the Wednesday session. The NBPA has usually been more open about the dialogue but even they seemed determined to toe the line on this occasion,
"It's tough to characterize it in one fashion or another. Obviously, the more we have the opportunities to meet, talk and discuss and really try to figure out how we can put a deal together, the better, so you can characterize that as positive in a sense," union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers said. "But to characterize what comes out of the meetings and whether we're making progress or we have momentum, we can't say and it's tough to say. Until the deal is done, there is no deal."
One player, Roger Mason Jr of the New York Knicks, posted a positive comment about the session on a social networking site. However Mason, who is a member of the executive committee of the NBPA, soon deleted his post and declared that his account had been hacked.
Still the fact that both sides are willing to sit down and talk again the next day can only be spun as a positive development in a lockout story that has become increasingly gloomy as time goes on.