NEW YORK, N.Y. - The NBA and its players are hitting pause in their negotiations as the union considers the league's latest revised offer.
The league submitted the offer after nearly 11 hours of bargaining Thursday. It's based on the possibility of a 72-game season, starting Dec. 15.
But union president Derek Fisher said it doesn't address all the necessary system issues that are important to the players.
"It does not meet us entirely on the system issues that we felt were extremely important to try and close this thing out, and so at this point we've decided to end things for now, take a step back," Fisher said. "We'll go back as an executive committee, as a board, confer with our player reps and additional players over the next few days. Then we'll make decisions about what our next steps will be at that point."
NBA commissioner David Stern said there's really nothing left to negotiate.
"There comes a time when you have to be through negotiating, and we are," he said. "This is the best attempt by the labour relations committee and therefore the NBA to address the concerns that the players expressed coming out of their meeting of the player representatives."
Hunter said they would try to bring the player representatives to New York by Monday or Tuesday to decide what the next step is, and whether the current offer is acceptable.
"It's not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership and so that's what we're going to do," Hunter said.
Stern said he didn't expect the players to like every aspect of the revised proposal, saying there were many teams, too, who don't like aspects of the revised offer.
Regardless, it will be better for players than the one that Stern had waiting: a 53-47 split of revenues in the owners' favour, a flex cap with a hard ceiling, and salary rollbacks.
Stern would not speculate on how players would react to the deal.
"I would not presume to project or predict what the union would do," he said. "I can hope and my hope is the events of next week will lead us to a 72-game schedule starting on Dec. 15."
Beyond the salary cap system issues that divide the sides, union executive director Billy Hunter said there were six pages of what he called ancillary items, such as the draft age and the commissioner's disciplinary rights, that still must be addressed before a deal.
"There's not enough progress to get a deal done," Fisher said. "That's the disappointing part. We want to get back on the court."
The union had nearly its entire executive committee in attendance, with Fisher and Hunter joined by players Chris Paul, Maurice Evans, Roger Mason Jr., Keyon Dooling, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas, Matt Bonner; lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner, and economist Kevin Murphy.
Management stuck with the same small group as Wednesday: Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the labour relations committee, and lawyers Rick Buchanan and Dan Rube.
"It's been a long haul," Hunter said.