Start of NBA season in danger as labor talks collapse

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The fate of the upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) season remained in doubt yesterday as labor talks between team owners and the players union broke down.

The two sides emerged from a four-hour meeting in midtown Manhattan that they had hoped would result in a new agreement only to say no progress was made.

“Today was not the day to get this done,” said Derek Fisher, the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

With time running out before the season is due to start on November 1, the prospect of a delayed start is now looming larger than ever after NBPA executive director Billy Hunter revealed there were no immediate plans to resume talks.

“There has been no discussion about next meetings. Maybe a month. Two months,” he said. “Your guess is as good as mine.

“As of this moment, we’ve broken off the negotiations.”
The NBA announced last month it had postponed training camps and cancelled the first week of preseason games but has not made any announcements about further cancellations although the chances of the season starting on time are rapidly fading.

NBA owners contend the league lost $300 million last season with 22 of 30 teams in the red. They want the league’s share of basketball-related income increased from 50 to 57 percent, along with a firm salary cap and shorter contracts.

The players have offered to reduce their share from 57 to 53 percent.

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