UPDATE 11:32 pm: As expected, the players union denies David Sterns claim. Here is the money graph from Yahoo Sports, quoting a union source:
“The NBA refused to have a staff meeting [Thursday],” a union official said. “Billy Hunter has been with the [National Labor Relations Board] the entire week, including Thursday, and the NBPA was told that Stern would be completely unavailable to meet for the next two weeks.”
Basically, the two sides continue to play some penny-ante games that can best be described as male cow-produced organic fertilizer. It provides little hope that the two sides can actually sit down, act like adults and deal with serious issues rather than act like first graders arguing over a cupcake. I fear this lockout is going to be long.
8:45 pm: There’s more to the story than this. Which is a fancy way of saying I don’t totally trust David Stern’s spin on things.
That said, since the NBA’s owners and players have met once since the lockout started, a cancelled meeting between the sides would be disappointing.
NBA Commissioner David Stern tells the Globe that the NBA Players Association canceled a scheduled meeting today with the league
Now I can think of a host of reasons a meeting could have been cancelled, starting with not wanting another bad negotiating session to overshadow the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Friday. While time is fleeting, pushing a meeting back to next week is not that big a deal. Especially since neither side really wants to seriously negotiate and compromise yet.
Still, the more they start siting across the table from each other, the better. We need some kind of pressure — like the potential loss of training camps then regular season games — to get the two sides really talking, but the more they are in the room together the better.
Stern tried to sound a note of optimism in all this, take it as you will. Again from Washburn’s twitter feed:
““I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive.”