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NBA lockout prolongs as players reject owners' revised proposal

(Xinhua)

09:55, November 16, 2011

President of the NBA players association Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks as the New Knicks Chauncey Billups (L-R), Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder Russel Westbrook (R) look on during a news conference announ

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- NBA lockout prolongs as players rejected owners' revised proposal on Monday.

The decision likely jeopardizes the season as the NBA Players Association rejected the owners' latest offer and have launched the process to disband their union.

A key sticking point remains the division of some 4 billion dollar in annual revenue.

Players received 57 percent of basketball-related income under their previous contract, but have said they would be willing to drop that to 52.5 percent.

NBA commissioner David Stern had previously warned if the current offer is rejected, the owners would come back with an even harsher one.

But in order for the NBA to have a 72-game season, Stern admitted the two sides would likely have to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement within the next week.

Stern had said if the latest offer was rejected and there was another bargaining meeting, it would be based on a 53-47 split of revenues in the owners' favor, a flexible salary cap with a hard ceiling and salary rollbacks.

"The players feel they're not prepared to accept any ultimatum, " said the executive director of the players union, Billy Hunter, calling the offer "extremely unfair" on the part of the NBA management.

Players had had the option to accept the offer, which proposed a shortened 72-game schedule beginning December 15 to end a months- long lockout, or take it to a vote and turn it down altogether.

Players' representatives said they were prepared to dissolve the union and file an antitrust lawsuit against the league over the lockout, which has lasted for more than four months.

The league has already wiped out all of the games scheduled in November in a campaign that was to have started November 1.

Hunter says players were not prepared to accept the Stern's ultimatum, saying they thought it was "extremely unfair."

 
 
 
 
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