Jun 14, 2011, 8:30 PM EDT
Just as rumors are starting to swirl around that the NFL may have labor peace on the horizon, the NBA is gearing up for its lockout.
There will be one, but the two sides are still meeting. They did so Tuesday and will have a bigger meeting Friday, reports Chris Sheridan of ESPN.
It’ll be the first large meeting since the sides met in Dallas during the NBA Finals, after which union attorney Jeffrey Kessler disclosed that the union had proposed giving underperforming teams an extra draft pick to help them become more competitive.
The owners’ focus, however, is on the financial part of the new labor agreement, and sources told ESPN.com that the owners have not moved off their demand for the players to give up approximately $750 million from the $2.1 billion in basketball-related income they earned last season.
The two sides are a long, long ways away.
The NFL deal — for all the nastiness of that battle — might be the model of hope for the NBA. Not in terms of structure of the deal but in terms of how the deal seems to be getting done. While those two sides fought like teenage sisters in recent months, when the pressure of a potential delay of training camps and a loss of games became real things got done (or are getting done). That is what we are left to root for NBA fans, that by mid-to-late September union director Billy Hunter and NBA Commissioner David Stern can hammer out a deal and next season starts on time.
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