Stern rips players, remains pessimistic after negotiating session

NBA commissioner David Stern didn’t come away with much hope after Monday’s negotiating sessions between players and owners.

Stern didn’t take the high road after the first session, as players union president Derek Fisher did. Instead, the NBA  commissioner blasted his players after telling the Associated Press that “nothing” in a nearly three-hour meeting .

“I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way,” Stern said.

It’s no surprise that the players are entrenched on their position. It is still very early in the negotiations and we’re still a long way from missing any games.

The owners want a much larger piece of the “basketball related income” pie, a hard salary cap and shorter contracts that aren’t guaranteed.

The players aren’t willing to budge much on what they have now. It looks like both sides remain are adamant.

Stern told CBS that the , which limits any real negotiating in his opinion.     

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re in the same place as we were 30 days ago,” Stern said. “And we agreed we’d be in touch to schedule some additional meetings … But right now, we haven’t seen any movement.”

Spurs majority owner Peter Holt was one of two NBA owners who were present Monday in New York City for the negotiating session. Holt was joined by Minnesota’s Glen Taylor among other NBA owners.

We likely won’t see any more constructive negotiating for the next several weeks. The next milestone will be when the players receive a ruling on their complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in the next 30 to 60 days on whether the owners are negotiating in good faith or not.

If the board agrees with the players, they can go the courts to end the lockout giving them a huge boost in negotiating leverage.

But if not, it should be a long, long wait. 

Don’t look for much in the next several weeks — except for the occasional NBA player signing a contract with an overseas team.  

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