NBA Season is On the Line Today

George CohenAnother critical weekend is shaping up to determine how long the NBA lockout will go on.

Pictured: Federal mediator George Cohen was as frustrated as anyone when he stepped into the NBA talks last month and couldn’t get the sides to reach an agreement to end the lockout. He will try again Saturday.

Owners and players will meet Saturday in New York, with federal mediator George Cohen, for the first time since talks broke off Oct. 28 and NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled all of November’s games.

But in a highly unusual move, the league’s Board of Governors will hold an impromptu full meeting in New York on Saturday — ahead of the resumption of talks with the players — less than two weeks after their scheduled full agenda of meetings in the city.

Stern indicated last week the NBA’s next offer on basketball-related income (BRI) — one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the 127-day lockout — might not be their last offer of a 50-50 split. He said the offer “will reflect extraordinary losses that are starting to pile up.”

However, it is believed Stern will try to convince owners to keep 50-50 on the table this weekend and possibly see if there is any interest in offering 51% to players.

There is, of course, a group of hardline owners who not only do not want to give players more than 50%, they also are more comfortable offering players 46-47%.

The National Basketball Players Association‘s executive committee will also convene before meeting with owners and those members of the union are also expected to hash out their game plan.

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Source: Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

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