Dour Commissioner David Stern suggested the players’ association is not bargaining in good faith and is not serious about getting a deal done, putting a damper on yesterday’s nearly three-hour NBA labor meeting.
Stern said at a midtown hotel after the first talking session since the NBA lockout started July 1, “I don’t feel optimistic. I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way — from this session and many before.”
Asked if the union was bargaining in good faith, Stern paused before saying with importance, “I would say no.” A frowning Stern then bolted from the hotel. He did not smile once throughout his four-minute chat with the media, and his demeanor was even more downbeat than the last negotiating session last June 30 when he announced the start of the lockout.
Stern characterized the session as unproductive. Stern said, “We met for several hours and I think it’s fair to say we’re at the same place we were 30 days ago.”
Derek Fisher and Theo Ratliff were the only two players in attendance. The two owners at the meeting were Minnesota’s Glen Taylor and the Spurs’ Peter Holt. Knicks owner James Dolan, who is on the negotiating committee, did not attend.
Fisher said, “Peter and Mr. Taylor are articulating certain things in the room, expressing their desire to get a deal done. But where their proposal lies makes it hard to believe that.”
Stern said as when he was told of Fisher’s comment, “We have absolutely the opposite take on it.” And Fisher’s comment is, “Peter and Mr. Taylor are articulating certain things in the room, expressing their desire to get a deal done, but where their proposal lies makes it hard to believe that.”