22 Oct 2011

No sign of end to NBA lockout

11:29 am on 22 October 2011

Marathon talks between NBA players and owners to resolve a long-running labour dispute that has put the entire US basketball season on hold broke off with little sign of progress toward a deal, raising the likelihood of more games being cancelled.

The two sides met for five hours on the third straight day of talks with federal mediator George Cohen but emerged without a breakthrough, nor any schedule to re-convene.

The NBA Commissioner David Stern was unable to attend the meeting with the flu, but the outstanding differences between the parties will likely see him scrap more games.

The pre-season and the first two weeks of the regular season had already been cancelled due to the protracted lockout that began on July the 1st after the players and owners failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

NBA owners contend the league lost more than $370 million last season with 22 of 30 teams in the red, initially demanding players cut their share of basketball-related income from 57 to 47 percent from the previous collective bargaining agreement, along with a firm salary cap and shorter contracts.

The players offered to reduce their share from 57 to 53 percent, and lowered that to 52.5 percent on Friday.

The owners have formally proposed a 50-50 split but the players union rejected the offer and both sides remain divided on the core issues.