If negotiations are not reached by Tuesday the NBA may not have a season before Christmas, according to league commissioner David Stern.
Stern told WFAN radio that Tuesday would most likely be a major deadline in saving the 2011-2012 season.
"It's time to make the deal,” Stern told the New York radio station Thursday. “If we don't make it on Tuesday, my gut – this is not in my official capacity of canceling games – but my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas day."
In a press conference Friday, NBA players’ union president Derek Fisher said he did not understand the deadline set by Stern.
"That’s an arbitrary deadline just to throw out on commissioner Stern's part,” Fisher said. “We don't see it that way. It just seems very arbitrary with no real purpose other than to sway player sentiment."
Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, explained why Stern believed that Tuesday is a critical date for saving the season.
“The probability of getting it done (is on) one day, because we'll only be together one day on Tuesday,” Hunter explained. “(The) NBA has scheduled other meetings Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."
Despite the fast approaching possible deadline that may result in a further chopping down of the NBA season, Fisher said he and players were standing firmly against owners. Fisher said if the owners changed their way of thinking, a deal could be made.
"We're employees and our teams in the NBA are employers. I think we probably have an increased chance of getting a deal done if they said some of the percentage of BRI that we're giving back to them was going to lesser ticket prices or was going to a pool of money for concession stand workers and vendors to have better working conditions,” Fisher said Friday.
“Those would be things that would be great and creative to talk about. But that's not what’s going on. What’s going on is just a giveback to our owners with no purpose or connection to lessening ticket prices or lessening parking prices or lessening anything, its only lessening percentage for us and increasing percentage for them," he added.