GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony said there is “an open dialogue” between the NBA and the players association and believes they could have a new collective bargaining agreement hammered out in the coming weeks.
Last week, Yahoo! Sports reported the two sides made “significant progress” toward a deal that would prevent a work stoppage. The NBA and NBPA have until Dec. 15 to exercise an opt-out clause in the current CBA. Anthony, a vice president for the players’ union, hopes something will be done before then.
“We’re working,” Anthony said on Thursday. “We’re working towards figuring out a solution and kind of how we want to work together. Believe it or not, we don’t want to strike and they don’t want to strike. So the best thing to do is really figure it out sooner rather than later. We want to try to get something done. I think the NBA and the owners are very receptive to that, and we are too.
Anthony said there is optimism because the two sides are talking. They weren’t speaking at this point before the 2011 lockout that resulted in a 66-game schedule and the regular season starting on Christmas Day.
“You can feel the difference, you can see the difference, you can see the reaction, you can see the contact we’re having, the information that’s being sent on both sides,” Anthony said. “I think we’re closer to getting something done. Hopefully it’ll get done soon.
“At this time in 2011, there was no conversation between players and owners at all. So it was just, ‘Y’all do what y’all do and we do what we do.’ It was more of a fight. Whether it was right or wrong, it was a fight back then. This time it’s more about how we can work together.”
Anthony wouldn’t get into any specifics about what the players were seeking. But he said the players don’t want to lose out on the NBA’s $24 billion television deal, which kicks in this season.
“That’s a key, especially for us as players,” Anthony said. “We don’t want to mess that up. We’re not going in there saying we want more money . . . We see how the league is growing. We see the growth of the league. We want to be a part of that. There’s certain things within the CBA that we would like to see as players of the union. So hopefully we can make something happen.
“We still have time. Dec. 15 is a long time away. There’s a lot of time, a lot of information, a lot of communication — an open dialogue that’s taking place right now that’s very helpful. We want to get something done. They want to get something done. It’s just a matter of both parties coming together.”