Roger Mason Jr.: Players Will Not Accept Hard Salary Cap

by September 30, 2011

Despite the sense of urgency surrounding this weekend’s crucial labor talks, NBPA executive vice president Roger Mason Jr. insists that players won’t agree to a hard cap proposal by the owners. From ESPN: “While NBA owners and players broke from their labor talks on Thursday to observe the Jewish New Year, perhaps the holiday inspired some new approaches heading into Friday’s critical meeting in New York City. Because if not, both sides will know they’re ‘very, very close to a point where games will be canceled if we don’t have a deal,’ according to NBPA executive vice president and New York Knicks combo guard Roger Mason Jr. ‘David Stern knows that there’s some deadlines coming up, so there’s a sense of urgency coming up,’ Mason Jr. said while on his way to the airport on Thursday afternoon for his flight to NYC. ‘There’s actually a sense of urgency beyond belief because we know that training camp is right around the corner.’ Mason Jr. said no matter what happens this weekend, the most important thing the owners know is that the players are not going to fold on the hard salary cap. ‘We’re not going to allow the soft cap to take on the system,’ Mason Jr. said. ‘I’m hopeful that even with whatever system changes they want to make, that stays intact because I know what our guys want to do.’ Mason Jr. said where the union has shown a willingness to compromise has been with the issue of Basketball Related Income (BRI), as they’ve loosened their reins from 57 to 54 percent. And he’s adamant the union will not go lower. He’s hopeful this weekend that the divide in revenue split will be tackled. The NBPA has considered other negotiating tactics to counter the stalled talks, including decertification, which Mason Jr. said had been ‘brought up quite a bit’ among the group. But he said their priority is to still work directly with the owners. ‘Up until to this point, we haven’t really made as much progress as we’d like,’ Mason Jr. said, ‘but I’m hoping that the first time we can make progress is this weekend.'”