New York, NY – NBA owners and players will meet with a federal mediator on Monday to try and make progress towards ending the strike that has resulted in the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season.
National Basketball Players Association director Billy Hunter said on WFAN-AM that both sides had agrees to a meeting with a mediator on Monday while there is no official word from the NBA. However, USA Today is reporting that NBA spokesman Tim Frank sent a text stating that the two sides were working on scheduling a meeting for early next week.
Hunter and players are reportedly scheduled to meet on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles to address the issues at hand.
The two sides had met this past Monday, but no progress was made and commission David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, the first time the NBA has canceled games since the 1998-99 stoppage that saw just a 50-game regular season.
Hunter said during the interview that it was Stern's plan from the beginning to have a lockout.
"David Stern promised me a lockout three years ago," Hunter said to WFAN's Mike Francesa. "That was their plan all along."
One of the major issues in the lockout has been the split of basketball- related income. The owners want players to agree to a 47 percent share, while the players apparently aren't willing to go below 53 percent.
The structure of the league's economic system, though is apparently what's largely to blame for the labor strife such as a hard salary cap, which the owners have apparently softened their stance on.
The NBA lockout, of course, began on July 1 after the most recent labor deal between the sides expired.
Unlike the labor strife that caused NFL lockout, which long appeared to be solvable, the problems facing the NBA have led observers to warn about a prolonged dispute like the one that canceled the 2004-05 NHL season.