Stern On Lockout: "I Expect That We’ll Make A Deal"

Despite all the talk of doom and gloom this summer, NBA Commissioner David Stern in an interview with the “Boston Globe” said that he believes there will be basketball played in the Association during the 2011-2012 campaign. Last week the Executive Director of the NBA Players Association Billy Hunter, told a group he was addressing that he thought the season would end up being cancelled. Stern told the paper “I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive. It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything we can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”

The Commissioner said that he believes that NBA players realize just how beneficial the Association has been to them. He said “I would say that we have very smart players who recognize that this system is very good to them. You’ve got 13 players on a roster averaging $5 million apiece, that’s $65 million and what the owners have said is, ’we’re going to try very hard as we reset this thing to keep you as close to that number as we can.’ The NFL, which is usually profitable as opposed to the NBA, which isn’t, got the double-digit (revenue) reductions from their players. Our players will understand that when the rhetoric stops and they will understand that the owners are trying to do the right thing and our players always try to do the right thing.”

The Lockout in the NFL was settled by both sides two weeks ago, and the league will play a full schedule of games. Stern says there is plenty of time for the NBA to bridge the gap that is currently keeping both sides apart. He said “I will not set a deadline on Aug. 11. They’ll be smaller meetings, conversations, you don’t need these great media events to have dialogue. Eventually we’ll get it done.”

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