Monday, February 21, 2011

NBA Players, Owners Set Tone for Negotiations in All-Star Weekend Meeting

by Sam Amick

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David SternLOS ANGELES -- The Friday meeting between NBA owners and players to discuss the dire labor situation will never be remembered as a memorable turning point that led to a new collective bargaining agreement.

It was as basic as gatherings go, with both sides speaking in generalities and basic philosophies about how and why their sides and their stances should be understood. There were, by numerous first-hand accounts, very few details discussed and no issues resolved as the clock continues to tick toward the June 30 expiration and the extended lockout that is expected to follow.

But the very reasons that the meeting was considered a step forward by all involved said everything about the sad state of affairs going in. There was no rhetoric, no contentious tones, no hyper focus on the respective agendas.

With the 15 All-Stars on hand (25 players in all) joined by most of the league's owners in the Beverly Hills meeting that lasted approximately two hours, there was finally the acknowledgment that both sides must be willing to discuss their disagreements no matter how vehement they might be. And that, believe it or not, marked a significant step forward in setting the tone for these crucial discussions.


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