Negotiations between the National Basketball Association and NBA players ended on Thursday when the players broke off talks, claiming that not enough progress had been made on a deal. The two sides continued to negotiate this week in the hopes of getting a season started relatively soon, but optimism seems to be waning on both sides.
When the two sides met on Thursday, the league offered a new proposal to the players following 11 hours of negotiation. The deal proposed to complete a 72-game season that would begin on Dec. 15, but apparently didn't satisfy the players' demands. Here's what union president Derek Fisher told reporters on Thursday:
[The league's new offer] does not meet us entirely on the system issues that we felt were extremely important to try and close this thing out, and so at this point we've decided to end things for now, take a step back.
At this point, it's getting hard to envision how this entire thing is going to end. The players appear to be taking a stand here, while the owners are already showing little interest in budging on what they've offered. NBA commissioner David Stern spoke with reporters on Thursday and said as much:
There comes a time when you have to be through negotiating, and we are. This is the best attempt by the labor relations committee and therefore the NBA to address the concerns that the players expressed coming out of their meeting of the player representatives.
For now, everyone in the basketball world essentially goes back to "wait-and-see" mode. The players want to give up less than they're being asked to, and we're beginning to see now just how willing both sides are to miss actual games.
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