Commissioner David Stern has issue the NBA players an ultimatum to solve the strike that has delayed the strat of the new season.
He has told the mega-wealthy stars: accept a chance to earn up to 51 percent of basketball-related income by Wednesday or get ready for a deal that is a whole lot worse.
The latest development has not gone down well the player’s union.
“The players will not be intimidated,” attorney Jeffrey Kessler said “They want to play, they want a season, but they are not going to sacrifice the future of all NBA players under these types of threats of intimidation.
“It’s not happening on Derek Fisher’s watch; it’s not happening on Billy Hunter’s watch; it’s not happening on the watch of this executive committee.”
Kessler said the proposal was really 50.2 percent for the players and called the chance of them ever reaching 51 percent a “fraud” and an “illusion.”
If players don’t agree to it by Wednesday, Stern said they would get a deal that would guarantee them just 47 percent of BRI and call for a flex salary cap.
“We hope that this juxtaposition will cause the union to assess its position and accept the deal,” Stern said.
Thus ended another frustrating day, one that puts a lengthy 2011-12 season in doubt.
“Today was another sad day for our fans, for arena workers, our parking lot attendants, our vendors. Very frustrating, sad day,” union president Fisher added. “We, for sure, unequivocally, made good faith efforts to try to get this deal done tonight. And we’re at a loss for why we could not close it out.”
And it remains difficult to see how they can. Stern certainly wouldn’t speculate on the chances.
“I’m not going to make percentage guesses or anything like that. We want our players to play. We’d like to have a season,” he said. “These are the terms upon which we’re prepared to gear up and get in as many games as possible.”