Posted on: October 28, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 7:10 pm

David Stern cancels all NBA games in November

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled two more weeks of the 2011-2012 regular season after labor negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association broke down on Friday afternoon in New York City.

"Right now, our games are cancelled through Nov. 30," Stern said. "To the end of the month of November."

Stern also ruled out the possibility of salvaging an 82-game schedule by squeezing in extra games after a postponed start.

"It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now. We held out that joint hope together, but in light of the breakdown of talks there will not be a full NBA season under any circumstances."

With that, Stern then issued a quick apology to those directly affected by the cancellations.

"I say that with apologies to the municipalities in which we play our games, to the workers who earn their living in our buildings and from businesses around the buildings."

Shortly after Stern's statement, the NBA also issued a press release formally announcing the decision. 

"The NBA announced today that it has canceled all games through November 30," the release read, "because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association."

"We share the frustrations of our fans, partners, and those who rely on our game for their livelihoods,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We remain committed to reaching an agreement that's fair for both the teams and the players and allows for the long-term growth of our game.”

On Oct. 10, Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA regular season. On Oct. 4, Stern cancelled the preseason. In total, 221 NBA games have now been cancelled.

Here's video of NBA commissioner David Stern cancelling all NBA games through the end of November.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:56 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 10:11 pm

NBA labor deal 'within striking distance'

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Assocation met for more than seven hours in New York City on Thursday, one day after the two sides spent 15 hours working to fashion a new collective bargaining agreement. No deal was reached, but there were plenty of smiles and quips to go around.

The talks, which are expected to shift focus from system issues to the split of Basketball-Related Income, will resume on Friday morning. Talks began at 2 p.m. on Thursday and lasted past 9:30 p.m., and included commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher.

"I think we're within reach, within striking distance of getting a deal," Hunter said. It's just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal."

Asked if he might reveal some of the deal points, Hunter said he was not yet able to. "I'm hopeful that tomorrow we will be. Commissioner Stern is back there smiling, so I guess that's a good indication."

Stern then shouted out: "Tomorrow."

So, with this jovial mood and evident progress, why didn't talks go deep into the night?

"We've been here all day," Hunter said. "We've made little progress. I think everybody is pretty wiped out after last night. What we've decided to do is recess the process until tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. We're going to reconvene and hopefully spend as much time as we possibly need in hopes of getting a deal."

"We're working at it," Fisher said. "It's a tough process. As we move through and try to close the gap in as many places as we can, it gets tougher towards the end. Trying to be respectful to the process, not rush through it, come back later tomorrow."

"We would not have spent the time we spent here today without making some progress," Fisher added, "but as I just stated we are working through so many different issues, and we are trying to close the gap in each issue, as you try and make a move towards getting a deal done, it gets tougher towards the end. We have to continue to grind at it."

The light mood continued, for the most part, when Stern and Silver, addressed the media. 

"I can't tell you we resolved anything in such a big way," Stern said, "but there's an element of continuity, familiarity and I would hope trust that would enable us to look forward to tomorrow, where we anticipate there will be some important and additional progress, or not."

Stern was asked whether he had a real and concrete idea of what a deal might look like.

He replied simply: "Yes."

Stern was asked whether he would consider it a failure if a deal is not reached in the next few days.

He replied simply: "Yes." 

Both Stern and Silver made it clear that the discussion recently had been centered on system issues but would turn to the BRI split on Friday. The two issues are separate, Silver insisted, and thus not standing in the way of the other being resolved. "One goes to the overall economic health of the league, the second issues goes to competitive and parity," Silver said. "While we need to resolve both issues and both issues are critical, one is not dependent on the other."

Silver also then made a point to clarify that the system issues are not yet totally resolved. 

Even so, Stern said that Friday could potentially be the deal-making day.

"There are no guarantees we will get get it done but we will give it one heck of a shot tomorrow," Stern said, "and I think that Billy and the union's negotiators feel the same way. And I know that ours do."

Click here for the latest NBA Lockout Buzz.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:18 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:56 pm

NBA Lockout Buzz: Thursday

Posted by Ben Golliver nba-lockout

Is it starting to feel like we're entering the home stretch portion of the NBA Lockout? From here to the finish line, stick with CBSSports.com's Lockout Buzz posts to get the very latest news and rumors concerning the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations. These posts will update regularly.

Thursday, 11:50 PM EST

Via Yahoo! Sports, the last system hurdle appears to be use of exceptions for taxpayers. "Tax not issue" a source said. "Exceptions are where the fight is."

As for where the deal stands, it's "in a very good place" according to the report. “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday],” a source said.

Thursday, 10:20 PM EST

Thursday's negotiations ended after seven hours. For a wrap up, click here. Talks will resume Friday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, 9:00 PM EST

Where Thursday's talks stand

Talks began at 2 p.m. Eastern in New York City.

ESPN.com reports that the two sides broke for dinner at roughly 8 p.m. and that "the next round of talks will center on BRI." BRI refers to the split of the league's revenues. ESPN.com also reports that the players are "currently at 52.5" for their portion of the split and that "Intel saying if -If! - they budge, it's not likely to be below 52." The owners have been pushing for a 50/50 proposal.

Yahoo reports: "There's been significant progress on the luxury tax, but league sources say that there's still a couple of sticking points left to work out... Beyond major items - system/BRI - still level of 'B' list issues (age limit, drug testing, conduct, draft rules) that haven't been touched."

Newsday reports that the two sides made progress on the following system issues: "length of guaranteed contracts, mid-level exception and amnesty."

ESPN.com reports: "Example of system issue where NBA owners/players now agree? Sign-and-trades. [They] will be allowed in new deal after fears they'd be outlawed. But one sign-and-trade wrinkle sides still negotiating is whether teams over luxury tax will be allowed to partake in sign-and-trade deals."

Optimism in the air

Yahoo reports that NBA teams are making preparations that might be a signal that an agreement will be reached in the short term. "Team executives are cancelling scouting trips, preparing for free agency."

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh says: "Hopefully we can keep the momentum and get back to playing basketball very soon. I am and always have been optimistic."

Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley says: "Really [encouraged] about hearing whispers about a deal being close. Hope both sides can get it done and feel good about it. I have faith."

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Omri Cassp asks: "Who thinks the lockout will be over by this weekend?????"

Could something go wrong?

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports: "Team executives I've spoken with optimistic for deal by Monday, but cautious. One says gut tells him 'this will blow up one more time.'"

SI.com says watch out for the hard-liners on both sides: "What happens when hard-line owners like Cleveland's Dan Gilbert and Portland's Paul Allen re-enter the conversation Thursday afternoon? Or when the stars such as Boston's Kevin Garnett or the Lakers' Kobe Bryant weigh in on the fact that the 53-percent-BRI-line-in-the-sand has long since been crossed by the union?"
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 7:18 pm

Report: NBA, players to meet next week?

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Pro-tip: Any time a negotiation ends with one party standing up on national television to call the other party a liar and the federal mediator apppointed to oversee things issues a "hands in the air" press release as he sneaks out the side door, that's a failed negotiation.

The NBA's labor negotiations reached rock bottom when National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher didn't mince words, accusing representatives of the NBA's owners of lying in their depiction of labor talks that broke down on Thursday.

The New York Times reported Friday that, although everything looks terribly bleak, the two sides could re-engage communication as early as this weekend.
“It could be tougher than it has been in the past to get back together,” Peter Holt, the chairman of the league’s labor-relations committee, said Thursday night.

Yet on Friday, people on both sides of the divide, speaking off the record, predicted there would be a phone call or two over the weekend and probably another meeting next week. That has been the pattern all month: every dramatic breakdown followed by a brief silence and then a surprising resumption of talks.

In many respects, the parties are exactly where they were two weeks ago, when union officials angrily accused the league of “setting preconditions” — i.e. acceptance of a 50-50 split — for any further talks. Two days later, they were back at the bargaining table.
The big question here: Can we get an injury report on NBA commissioner David Stern? Stern, who called in sick to Thursday's negotiations that eventually went up in flames, hasn't emerged yet emerged to put the pieces back together. The possibility of further regular season game cancellations looms, so perhaps we'll be hearing from him soon?

Certainly, the vast majority of NBA observers have to be hoping that Stern's return comes with news of negotiation reconciliation, and not solely the bad news of a further delay to the start of the 2011-2012 season.
Posted on: October 21, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 8:10 pm

Raja Bell: David Stern rules with 'iron fist'

Posted by Ben Golliverdavid-stern-asleep

"Plantation overseer" might be going too far, according to one NBA player, but David Stern does deserve some criticism for how he handles his business as commissioner.

Respected veteran Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell told 790 AM in Miami that, while he didn't agree with television commentator Bryant Gumbel's controversial evokation of slavery, Stern does display some dictatorial tendencies.

Here's Bell's thoughts via SportsRadioInterviews.com
Your thoughts on Bryant Gumbel’s comments on David Stern being a “plantation overseer?”

“[Laughs a few times] Some of what he says in that interview or on his show I think is accurate. I don’t mean the racial part of what he said. I mean [NBA] commissioner Stern in my personal opinion…I feel like he’s a bit in the way of us making progress here. I feel like he might be in his last few years as commissioner and he is looking to make his legacy on what kind of deal he get can get these owners this time around. I feel strongly about that. I feel like he has been one of the biggest problems in this whole lockout. It’s unfortunate we have not been able to get past that, but as far the racial part of what he said; I don’t necessarily touch on that. I don’t know what David Stern’s motives are. I don’t know how he views us as players. I do think he rules the NBA with an ‘iron fist,’ and it is his way or the highway. I don’t necessarily agree with that philosophy, but the rest of it…I don’t know. I don’t know where Bryant is coming from. I don’t know what he was thinking at the time. I am surely not on the same page as him with some of that.”
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver stood up for his boss on Thursday, saying Gumbel's comments were "outrageous."

All things considered, Stern's reputation as a tough-minded executive and fierce negotiator are well-earned. But Thursday may very well have been his "Emperor with no clothes" moment, as a "worn down" Stern stayed home to battle a flu while the ongoing labor talks blew up in his absence. With hard-liners carrying the day and National Basketball Players Association president openly accusing the owners of lying on national television, Stern's fist looked more velvet than iron, at least for 24 hours.

That could be an ominous development for NBA fans. The ball is now clearly in Stern's court. He must act next in determining if and when to cancel further NBA games. Will he cancel two weeks? Will he cancel a month? Will he cancel all the way until Christmas, as he threatened to do last week? And, importantly, will he be able to establish a consensus on a deal-making position among his own owners with the clock ticking?

Those are all difficult questions and they demand a pro-active, tough-minded executive. Stern has rarely failed to fill that role during his multiple decades heading up the NBA. If he opts to put on his iron glove and pound his fist on the table, it could be awhile before we see hoops on the hardwood.
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 5:31 pm

David Stern calls in sick to NBA meetings

Posted by Ben Golliver

Billionaires and millions holding the sport of basketball hostage. Yes, it's enough to make you ill.

It's enough to make NBA commissioner David Stern sick too, apparently.

NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver met with reports in New York City on Thursday to inform them that Stern is sick with the flu and was not able to attend an NBA Board of Governors meeting and will likely not be able to attend Thursday afternoon labor negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association either.

"I'm sure David's flu was not helped, his symptoms were not helped by the fact that we had several late nights this week," Silver said. "It's been a long week for anybody, but particularly with our Board of Governors meetings and the negotiations, I think he just got a little bit worn down. He's still very active in this process and I'm sure he will be addressing our committe by conference call."

Silver said he and Stern remain in constant contact. 

"He's still actively working at home, my Blackberry is buzzing on my waist as I sit here," Silver said. "Most likely [he] will not be here at the bargaining session this afternoon. But, like I said, we will be fully engaged in the committee, led by Peter Holt. He will be an active participant even though he will not be there in person."

Reports surfaced on Wednesday evening that some progress had finally been in the labor negotiations during the 24 hours of negotiations that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Here's video of Silver's remarks.

Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 7:35 pm

Federal Mediator: NBA talks to continue Thursday

Posted by Ben Golliver

After leading 16 hours of NBA labor talks on Tuesday and more than eight hours of talks on Wednesday, federal mediator George Cohen issued his first -- albeit brief -- public comments to media members assembled in New York City.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Cohen "shed no new light on the status of talks. He emphasized importance of confidentiality."

Representatives for the league and its players did not comment on Wednesday but will meet again on Thursday, according to Cohen, with talks scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Here's video of Cohen's brief remarks.

NBA.com reported
that Cohen called the participants in the meeting "extremely focused on the issues" and that the talks have been "direct and constructive."

Yahoo! Sports reported that "progress was made on the BRI revenue split" according to two sources involved in the negotiations.

Berger reports that NBA commissioner David Stern left Wednesday's mediated session before its conclusion to attend to other league business. The NBA's owners are assembled in New York for Board of Governors meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Cohen met with both the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association on Monday in advance of Tuesday's mediation. Representatives for both sides refused to comment following Tuesday's negotiating session, which went into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The NBA and the NBPA have made little formal progress towards a new collective bargaining agreement since the league's owners locked out its players on July 1.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:20 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 11:27 am

NBA, NBPA meet for 16 hours with federal mediator

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Representatives of the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association took part in more than 16 hours of talks led by federal mediator George Cohen in New York City on Tuesday but failed to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides will resume their negotiations at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The NBA's owners had been scheduled for Board of Governors meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in New York but Berger reports that the labor talks "clearly take precedence."

Specific details of the marathon negotiation session are unclear. Berger reports that a spokesman for the NBA "has asked both sides to refrain from commenting, and they are abiding."

NBPA board member Chris Paul said on Twitter: "WoW, 16 hours...I PROMISE we are trying!!!"

Yahoo Sports cited a source in the meeting saying that "very little" progress was made, that the two sides were "still not anywhere near a deal," that the only "gaps" that had been narrowed were "on small stuff" and that it was "hard to see where this is going."

Newsday reported that "nothing [was] achieved toward a deal. But there's always tomorrow."

Cohen met with both the league and the players union individually on Monday in advance of Tuesday's negotiations, which come eight days after commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 regular season.

Tuesday's meeeting, the longest since the NBA imposed a lockout on July 1, dragged on for so long that NBA writers staking out the talks reported receiving complementary cookies from the NBA and, later, ice cream and chinese food from the NBPA. The talks began at 10 a.m. Tuesday local time and concluded just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

SheridanHoops.com reported the following attendees at the meeting.
Representing the owners were Peter Holt (San Antonio), Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City), Mickey Arison (Miami), Mark Cuban (Dallas), Jim Dolan (New York), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland), Wyc Grousbeck (Boston), Larry Miller (Portland), Robert Sarver (Phoenix), Glen Taylor (Minnesota) and Bob VanderWeide (Orlando).

Representing the players were Derek Fisher, Maurice Evans, Chris Paul, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason and James Jones.

In radio interviews last week, Stern said that nearly two months of the season could be in jeopardy if a resolution was not reached on Tuesday.

"Deal Tuesday, or we potentially spiral into situations where the worsening offers on both sides make it even harder for the parties to make a deal," Stern said. "If we don't make it on Tuesday, my gut -- this is not in my official capacity of canceling games -- but my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day."

Further game cancellations are expected to come in two-week increments. The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the season came three weeks in advance of the scheduled start date of Nov. 1. If the same lead time is necessary for the next cancellation, an announcement should be made by Monday, Oct. 24.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com