NBA commissioner David Stern went on the offensive yesterday pulling back the curtain on the league's negotiations with the player to give his side of all of the sticking points holding up a deal. Stern sat down for extensive, high-profile interviews with NBA TV's David Aldridge, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith and WFAN's Mike Francesa in advance of next week's meetings which will include a federal mediator.
This was obviously done with purpose but that wasn't to build good will with the players. Instead Stern essentially said they're done bargaining without explicitly saying so and also balked at committing to meeting past Tuesday next week. So while Stern says he did the interviews to get his facts out to the public, it seemed more like a way to deliver the players one last threat without a mediator in the room.
Ken Berger has a nice review of the interviews with this about the tight negotiation timeline next week.
Sources familiar with the mediation process told CBSSports.com that Cohen at first wanted to hold bargaining sessions at his Washington, D.C., office beginning Tuesday and continuing for the rest of the week. With owners headed to New York for the board meetings Wednesday and Thursday, that wasn't possible.
"We have owners meetings Wednesday and Thursday," Stern said later in another interview on NBA TV. "Each side's going to meet with the mediator on Monday, and if there's a breakthrough, it's going to come on Tuesday. If not, I think that the season, you know, is really going to potentially escape from us because we aren't making any progress."
Pressed by interviewer David Aldridge, Stern said, "How many times does it pay to keep meeting, and have the same things thrown back at you? We're ready to sit down and make a deal, and I don't think the union is. But hopefully on Tuesday, aided by the mediator, they'll be ready to make a deal. And certainly, I'll bring my owners ready to make a deal. Unlike Billy Hunter, you've never heard me say something is a 'blood issue.'"
Indiana Pacers wing, Dahntay Jones took in what the commish had to say and took to Twitter for some rebuttal and in the process engaged others in some interesting discussion. Check out his timeline from last night, there are a plenty to look through.
More links after the jump.
- PACERS: Caught in the Web Indiana Pacers blog - Croshere, Bird think Jackson can thrive on bench
- David Stern On WFAN: Tuesday’s Meeting Could Decide Fate Of NBA Season " CBS New York
- NBA commissioner David Stern doubts Christmas games if no deal Tuesday - ESPN
- One-On-One With David Stern | NBA.com
- Public ridicule and disdain might be force that ends NBA lockout - ESPN Wilbon
- What players are losing the most in a lockout? - CBSSports.com
- Billy Hunter: Labor deal could get done in hours? - CBSSports.com
- Danny Granger doesn’t think the players need the NBA… or salaries to play the canceled games | ProBasketballTalk
- Five lockout thoughts - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
- Stern: Deal or despair by Tuesday - CBSSports.com
- Loving The NBA Lockout? 100 Reasons The 2011 Season Would've Been Fantastic - SBNation.com
- David Stern Says NBA Lockout Could Last Past Christmas - SBNation.com
- The NBA’s own network limps through its worst week ever - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports