NEW YORK — After a lockout that has lasted more than three months, whether the NBA season starts on time could come down to one “very huge day” in labor talks.
Owners and players will be back Tuesday for a full bargaining session, knowing if they fail to produce results, there might not be enough time left to avoid canceling regular-season games.
“A lot of signs point to tomorrow being a very huge day,” players’ association president Derek Fisher said Monday. “There will be a lot of pressure on all of us in the room, and we’ll accept that responsibility and go in and see what we can get worked out.”
The sides met in small groups Monday for about five hours, a session Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said was mainly about “setting the table” for Tuesday. While careful not to put too much pressure on the talks, he and Commissioner David Stern said there had to be signs of compromise.
“Each side understands exactly what’s at stake and where potentially there is movement in order to try to get a deal done,” Silver said. “I mean, we can only say we’re running out of time so many times.”
The regular season is scheduled to open Nov. 1. Players would have reported to training camps Monday, but those were postponed and 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9-15 were canceled.
Owners want a new salary cap structure and are seeking to reduce players’ guarantee of basketball revenues from 57 percent, to perhaps 50 or less.