Even The NBA Lockout Mediator Is Advising Against Continuing Negotiations After The Latest Talks Turned Ugly

David Stern

Photo: AP

Remember when Kevin Garnett hijacked NBA labour negotiations a week ago and set whatever progress had been made backwards?Players and owners have since overcome that setback and, reportedly, were making progress thanks to the arrival of federal mediator George Cohen.

And then Paul Allen happened

Following an NBA Board of Governors meeting, the Trail Blazers owner and multi-billionaire explained to the union Thursday that negotiations would not continue unless players agreed to a 50/50 revenue split. NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter then asked Allen to table revenue discussions temporarily in favour of talking system issues. Allen responded with silence.

Talks broke down shortly after. 

Three days and 30 hours of negotiations later. And whatever momentum had been gained is gone.

Cohen had this to say, following Thursday’s broken down discussions.

“In these circumstances, after carefully reviewing all of the events that have transpired, it is the considered judgment of myself and Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, who has been engaged with me throughout this process, that no useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time.”

That is bad news. 

Both sides have drawn their line. As it stands, these lines show little promise of intersecting.

Owners believe that will change when player begin missing paychecks. Players believe that will change as owners begin losing revenue from regular season games. 

According to union president Derek Fisher, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said the players need to “trust him.”

That’s never going to happen.

Nor is basketball for the foreseeable future. Additional games haven’t been officially canceled. But they will. No new meetings have been scheduled. Apparently each side needs a break.

NBA fans. Welcome to Black Friday.

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