David Stern Hoping to Avoid Lockout Through Intense Negotiations

David Stern doesn’t sound too confident that a lockout can be avoided, but he assures the press and NBA fans that players and owners will do all they can to reach an agreement. From CBS Sports: “NBA owners and players will meet Wednesday for a ‘full-blown bargaining session’ in the hopes of gaining momentum toward a new collective bargaining agreement before a lockout is imposed July 1, commissioner David Stern said Tuesday night. In his annual pre-Finals media address, Stern said it will be a ‘challenge’ for both sides to move off their current positions in time to avert a work stoppage, the threat of which already has begun damaging the business. ‘The question is whether the owners and the players will be bold enough to do what has to be done here to keep this sport on the tack that it is on now, which is straight up,’ Stern said. Two bargaining sessions already had been scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday in Dallas during the Finals, but Wednesday’s session in Miami was added after the National Basketball Players Association introduced what Stern described after his media address as a new “concept” last week. Stern described the status of negotiations as a ‘give and take,’ and said the players haven’t submitted a formal counterproposal to the owners’ revised proposal, which was handed over in April. ‘We told the players and the owners to bring their negotiating talents to South Beach,’ Stern said. Stern said the players’ new proposed concept addressed one of the key issues the owners are trying to resolve in their efforts to vastly change the financial landscape of the sport in favor of the owners. Asked after his media address if the players’ new concept moved the negotiating needle, Stern said, ‘We have a deal that nothing moves the needle until the moved the needle is moved. We have no agreement on anything until there’s agreement on everything.'”