We told you yesterday of Tom Ziller’s report the owners and players would meet and actually start talking about a new CBA again in early August. Looks like, the first week of August. Meaning next week.
That’s what Zach Lowe over at Sports Illustrated is reporting.
That meeting will take place next week, barring some unforeseen scheduling issue, according to two sources familiar with the matter. It could take place as early as Monday, depending on how the schedules of a few key figures shake out, according to one of the sources.
Staff members from each side, including some top officials, have met twice since the lockout took effect on July 1 to finalize the 2010-11 basketball-related income figure, discuss possible structures for a new salary cap and schedule future meetings. But those sessions have not involved several key players, including NBA commissioner David Stern, union executive director Billy Hunter and top outside counsel for both sides.
I, like you, want to be heartened by this good news. And it is good news — the big guns are going to sit down face-to-face and talk for the first time since the lockout started.
But right now the sides are so far apart and can’t agree on fundamental issues — how much money the league lost last year, who is responsible for those losses, how Basketball Related Income should be defined and split — that it’s hard to see a quick and easy resolution to this. And right now there are some real hawks on both sides of the table.
After next weeks meeting there will be more scheduled meetings, but it will likely be mid-September before we have a real feel for if the two sides can reach a deal to salvage all or at least a fair part of the season. And if it appears the two sides are at an impasse, that is when the union may go the decertification route (which is what the NFL players did). That’s when then things really get messy, when the courts become involved.
I don’t want to really think about that, so I’m trying to remain positive.