- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - NBA labor negotiations broke down for the second time in a week Friday, with players and owners still unable to figure out how to split the league’s revenue and end the lockout.

After two days of making some progress on salary cap issues, the two sides brought the revenue split back into the discussion and got stuck on both.

Owners are insistent on a 50-50 split of revenues, while players last formally proposed they get 52.5 percent, leaving them about $100 million apart annually. Players were guaranteed 57 percent in the previous collective bargaining agreement.

“We made a lot of concessions, but unfortunately at this time it’s not enough, and we’re not prepared or unable at this time to move any further,” union executive director Billy Hunter said.


Just a day earlier, NBA Commissioner David Stern had said he would consider it a failure if the two sides didn’t reach a deal in the next few days and vowed they would take “one heck of a shot” to get a deal.

Hunter said the league initially moved its target down to 47 percent during Friday’s six-hour session then returned to its previous proposal of 50 percent of revenues.

“Derek (Fisher) and I made it clear that we could not take the 50-50 deal to our membership. Not with all the concessions that we granted,” Hunter said. “We said we got to have some dollars.”

No further talks have been scheduled.

Without a deal, Stern must decide whether to add more cancellations to the two weeks that have already been lost.

Union president Fisher said it was difficult to say why talks broke down, or when they would start up again.

“We’re here, we’ve always been here, but today just wasn’t the day to try and finish this out,” he said.

Fisher said there were still too many system restrictions in the owners’ proposal. Players want to keep a system similar to the old one, and fear owners’ ideas would limit player movement.

And though they might be inclined to give up one if they received more concessions on the other, players make it sound as if they are the ones doing all the giving back.

The old cap system allowed teams to exceed it through the use of a number of exceptions, many of which the league wants to tweak or even eliminate. Hunter has called a hard cap a “blood issue” to players, and though the league has backed off its initial proposal calling for one, players think the changes owners want would work like one.

“We’ve told them that we don’t want a hard cap. We don’t want a hard cap any kind of way, either an obvious hard cap or a hard cap that may not be as obvious to most people but we know it works like a hard cap,” Hunter said. “And so you get there, and then all of a sudden they say, `Well, we also have to have our number.’ And you say, `Well wait a minute, you’re not negotiating in good faith.’”

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