After two straight days of intense talks, National Basketball Association owners and players appeared to be on the path to striking a deal that would have settled a nasty labor fallout this weekend.

But after talks broke down on both sides Oct. 28, the current NBA lockout appears to have a nice, healthy future to it. NBA commissioner David Stern announced another round of cancellations Friday, backing up the hardwood through the end of November.

“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,” Stern announced on Oct. 28. “It’s not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now.”

Both sides had met in New York throughout the week to try to settle each other’s needs. But after the NBA owners reportedly insisted on an even share of all league revenue, the players association felt the need to back away. “Derek (Fisher) and I made it clear that we could not take the 50-50 deal to our membership. Not with all the concessions that we granted,” Union executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement posted on “We said we got to have some dollars.”

Rumors swirling prior to the weekend’s fallout suggested the NBA may even be able to recover a regular 82-game season if talks continued to progress but that window appears to be closed after Stern’s recent announcement.

Talks could resume next week but nothing has been scheduled at the moment. The impasse leaves the two sides close to $100 million apart, on an annual basis. Under the previous agreement the players drew 57 percent of revenues.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO