Finally, officials from the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association sat across the table from each other in a negotiating session on Wednesday. The big question: did they make any progress on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement? That is still unclear in the meeting's immediate aftermath.
As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last week, the Wednesday meeting consisted only of a select few individuals from each side, including NBA commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and players association president Derek Fisher, rather than full negotiating teams from both sides.
The New York Times reported that Wednesday's meeting at a Manhattan hotel lasted for six hours, but that the sides didn't have much to offer to reporters afterwards, refusing to say even whether the talks were positive or negative.
The USA Today also reported that Fisher was about as mum as it gets. "There won't be much to share," Fisher said. "We still have a lot of work to do, and that's what we're going on at this point."
The paper noted that Fisher "did acknowledge there has not been a drastic ideological change on either side."
Sports Illustrated reported that Stern and Silver were similarly vague, noting that the league officials "didn't offer many specifics [but] did say [meeting in] small groups [was] more productive."
The Times reported that Stern did say that "there is definitely time to make a deal."
USA Today quoted Silver painting the meeting as an important step. "It's good we're meeting," Silver said. "We're not going to get a deal done unless we spend time together. I'd say that's progress onto itself"
Further talks are expected but no specifics as to when, where and with whom attending were made available.
Despite the lack of details and tight-lipped nature of these comments, there was one clear bright spot. The Times noted that Fisher stated that the league and the Players Association "agreed to dispense with the rhetoric and public shots at each other." Civility is certainly a first step towards compromise.
Posted by Ben Golliver on CBSSports.com