The NBA has refused to negotiate a revenue split beyond its current 50-50 offer to the Players Association before Monday's deadline to save the start of the season.
Players Association sources said league officials refused their request for a Monday meeting unless the union agreed to the 50-50 split. The union rejected the conditions and set up regional meetings with players, further casting into doubt whether the season will begin on Nov. 1.
"This is a total hardball move," a union source told Y! Sports. "This just confirms what we suspected all along: The NBA was never serious about negotiating until [players] missed checks."
The latest standoff could be an attempt by NBA commissioner David Stern to reach out to rank-and-file players, get them to rally against the union's stand and accept the terms on the table.
Union officials have scheduled regional meetings for the players Saturday in Miami and Monday in Los Angeles. Players Association executive director Billy Hunter will attend the L.A. meeting.
An NBA spokesman confirmed to reporters that the league told the Players Association it won't negotiate beyond its current revenue offer, but said it's willing to meet as soon as Sunday to negotiate other items related to a new collective bargaining agreement.
"If the league wants to meet with us Monday, they'll have to get their asses out to L.A.," another union source told Y! Sports.
Stern said the league will cancel the first two weeks of the 2011-12 season if a deal isn't reached by Monday. Talks broke off between NBA owners and players Tuesday when Stern suggested the owners would be willing to agree to a 50-50 split in the league's basketball-related income while the players have been seeking a deal that guarantees them at least 52 percent.
Stern didn't have overwhelming support among owners when he suggested the 50-50 split, league sources told Y! Sports, and many owners never wanted to go north of 48.5 percent for the players’ share.
In addition to the revenue split, the league's owners and players still need to finish negotiating the luxury tax on the salary cap, the future of the midlevel and bi-annual exceptions and other major system items.
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