"Good morning, thanks for being interested," were the first words offered by NBA Commissioner David Stern in a press conference given after Wednesday's 15-hour closed-door negotiation session between representatives for NBA ownership and the NBA Players Association. Both sides acknowledged that progress has been made, however the NBA Commissioner was careful to stress that "there is no deal on anything until there is a deal on everything."
The parties agreed to avoid disclosing the issues that were discussed and the progress made during the negotiating session, but there's no doubt the sides and try to negotiate some compromise on a luxury tax system, the specifics of the salary cap, and the dreaded BRI split.
The biggest nugget coming from the press conference was the fact that NBA commissioner David Stern left open the possibility of having an 82-game season if a deal is reach by this weekend. Stern explained a bit of the complexity behind finding room for a full season:
We've got building issues,we've building issues versus hockey issues, we've got travel schedules, we've got all kinds of things that are difficult for us. And we have the sheer volume of games that might have to be compressed and the amount of back-to-backs that players could be asked to play. And really in terms of the number of games that the fans could be asked to attend.
Nuggets fans can no doubt appreciate the scheduling issues associated with NBA arenas, given that the Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche both share the Pepsi Center. The good news is that progress has been made, and the parties are committed to more bargaining. Small groups representing NBA owners and the NBA players will return to the bargaining table Thursday afternoon.
With PG Ty Lawson making Twitter jokes about leaving his Lithuanian team and J.R. Smith still learning about censorship while playing in China, I'm sure they are among the countless NBA players looking forward to the beginning of the NBA season.
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