The NBA lockout could end soon or go on forever
If you want to see any more NBA basketball in 2011, it appears Tuesday is going to be pretty important. Not important in the sense that, “hey, training camp opens today.” More important in that a bunch of dudes in suits are going to sit around and talk about dollars and what’s fair for them. After said dudes in suits met yesterday, even more suited individuals will be getting together today in what is quickly being deemed around the internet as THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN NBA HISTORY. It was a Tuesday.
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News is in New York, presumably because he needs somebody to tell stories to and Jesse and I aren’t around to listen to him talk about taking three college football players he was covering in Colorado back in the 70’s to The Big Texan to attempt the Free 72 oz. Steak Challenge the night before a road game in Oklahoma or something. All because there are no NBA games to be played. And, he’s covering the lockout:
With participation on Monday limited to five representatives on the league side and five on the players’ side, the table was set for another large group meeting today that promises to tell the tale on the start of the regular season.
“A lot of signs point to tomorrow being a very huge day, a lot of pressure on all of us in the room,” union president Derek Fisher said. “We’ll accept that responsibility, go in and see if we can get it worked out.”
Spurs owner Peter Holt, who chairs the owners’ labor relations committee, missed Monday’s meeting but is to return for today’s session. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, chairman of the owners’ executive committee, replaced Holt on Monday.
Held on the day that most NBA teams were once scheduled to stage media days to open training camps, Monday’s talks made it evident that significant progress must be made today to bridge bargaining gaps that union executive director Billy Hunter calls “a mile wide.”
The showdown starts at noon eastern time. Monroe will give the occasional update during the day via his Twitter feed.
“Each side understands exactly what’s at stake and where, potentially, there is movement in order to get a deal done,” said Adam Silver, the NBA’s deputy commissioner. “We can only say we’re running out of time so many times. We’re now very close to the point where we’re going to begin losing, of course, the rest of the preseason and shortly have to cancel regular-season games. They know that, and sometimes deadlines are constructed for both sides in making the final moves that are necessary to make a deal.”
Both sides said they are willing to put in as much time as required to work towards an agreement as long as they are seeing some progress.
“If it’s a very short meeting, that’s bad,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “If it’s a very long meeting, that’s not as bad.”
Oh joy. A pretty black-and-white way to take the temperature of the day’s talks once they’re finished. Short talk? We’re all screwed and I’m going to be spending a lot more time than usual in Cedar Park covering the Toros. Long talk? Well, that could mean nothing. But it doesn’t guarantee I’m going to be spending more time in Cedar Park.