The NBA set a 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline for the current proposal, but union executive director Billy Hunter suggested that there was more at stake than just the owners' threat of resetting their offer to the basics of last summer (hard cap system, 53-47 percent BRI split in favor of the owners). Hunter said he was hearing "from the underground" that the league was prepared to cancel games through Christmas.
During an interview on NBATV on Tuesday night, commissioner David Stern said, "I don't know what ground he is talking about and under what ground he is looking."
Stern then added, "We have made no such plans and have no such discussion. We need 30 days to start the season from the time we make an agreement."
Wednesday's meeting, which was arranged in the morning, started at just after 1 p.m. at a Manhattan hotel and included small groups from both sides. For the NBA, it was Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt (chairman of the labor relations committee), general counsel Rick Buchanan and deputy counsel Dan Rube. For the players, it was Hunter, president Derek Fisher, economist Kevin Murphy, general counsel Ron Klempner, outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler plus executive committee members Mo Evans and Roger Mason.