November 9, 2011, would be the day to end all days in NBA lockout negotiations.It came. It went. And when it was announced at about 1:00 am – eight hours after commissioner David Stern’s so-called “deadline” and actually on Nov. 10 – that owners and the union would hold press conferences in separate rooms, the message became clear.
No deal had been reached.
“We took a lot of time covering all the issues that we have remaining,” player president Derek Fisher said about the twelve hours of negotiating. “We can’t say there was significant progress made today.”
But don’t go tipping over basketball hoops just yet, rioting NBA fans. Fisher’s somber words may just be rhetoric now that both sides have agreed to reconvene for meetings Thursday afternoon. Where they will continue to discuss a deal involving a 50-50 BRI split, placing Stern’s deadline on hold. Something they wouldn’t have done unless they were closing in on a deal.
“This remains a tenuous process but the owners wouldn’t have, as Stern termed it, ‘stopped the clock,’ without real progress.” tweeted Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Solving system issues remains the biggest hurdle. But there are reports that “progress” was made on several of these items.
Fortunately, negotiations will reconvene less than twelve hours after the Wednesday afternoon Wednesday night Thursday morning meeting adjourned. Which means the two sides will be back at it again for, what we should assume, will be another marathon session.
Stern said not to walk away from this meeting too optimistic or pessimistic. That both sides have simply “agreed to continue to negotiate.”
We’ve been here before. Only to come away bitterly disappointed. But it’s not naïve to think this time could be different. With a deal being reached as soon as tomorrow.
“We’re not failing and we’re not succeeding,” Stern said.
Stern-speak, in other words, for stay tuned.
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