David Stern promised enormous consequences from the NBA lockout if the framework of a new labor deal was not in place early this week. Judging from the latest talks between NBA owners and players over the weekend, the consequences will follow.
Early Sunday, a report on the NBA's official Web site suggested that the two sides are still miles apart on a new deal. Time is running out to close the gap. The regular season is scheduled to start on Nov. 1, but time has to be allotted for a free-agent signing period, training camps and exhibition games.
This weekend's talks came with greater length than progress. Stern, the NBA's commissioner, said there was a pretty broad gap between players and owners, according to a report by Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen on Saturday.
The consequences? Not here yet. No more cancellation of preseason games - the NBA has canceled 43 already. No cancellation of regular-season games - no deadline has been set for that.
The two sides took Sunday off and will reconvene Monday.
Among the reports from the weekend:
- SI.com's Ian Thomsen: The most important issue seems to have shifted from the salary cap - owners seemed to be willing to budge on their desire for a hard cap - to how to split the $4 billion in league revenue. Players received 57 percent of Basketball Related Income (BRI) in the last CBA, but owners want to shrink that to 46 percent. Players have expressed willingness to move down to 54 percent.
- CBS Sports' Ken Berger: There is no chance the players would be willing to accept 46 percent BRI. They would be more willing to accept certain restrictions at, say, 53 percent, such as the owners' luxury tax system, which would implement a tax of $1 to $4 on every dollar over the cap.
- The New York Post's Marc Berman: Miami Heat stars Dwayne Wade and LeBron James have requested that the players' union should not go below 53 percent for BRI. The report also contained Stern's confirmation of an altercation between him and Wade this weekend, which he called a heated exchange.
- Sheridanhoops.com's Chris Sheridan: Sheridan found something in the fact that both Stern and union executive director Billy Hunter were unusually perky after Saturday's meeting. Anything for optimism.