The NBA Players Association rejected David Stern’s ultimatum, after the NBA commissioner gave the players a 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday to agree on his new deal before it is withdrawn.
Instead, the players hope for the opportunity to get union representatives to open further negotiations with Stern and owners.
Although Stern was initially talked down to splitting basketball related income down the middle with a 50/50 percentage, the latest offer presents players with a 49 percent split compared to the owners’ 51 percent.
NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter said players were not happy with the deal, although they did want to attempt to negotiate a new one.
"The players are clearly of the mind that it's an unacceptable proposal," said Hunter. "But because of their commitment to the game and their desire to play, they're saying to us that we want you to go back, see if you can go back, get a better deal."
David Stern told NBA TV he would be willing to speak with Hunter on Wednesday. However, he made no promises that his latest deal would be altered.
"I always take Billy's calls as a sign of respect and courtesy," said Stern on Tuesday night. "What my response will be will be guided to some degree by the labor relations committee."
A source close to owners said he does not believe players will get a better offer from Stern.
"It's sad," said the source to ESPN. "I think they've seen their best offer."
Derrick Fisher, president of the players’ union, said some issues still exist that he was not willing to budge.
"We're open-minded about potential compromises on our [BRI] number," said Fisher. "But there are things in the system that are not up for discussion, that we have to have, in order to be able to get the season going again."
If the two sides cannot agree on a deal, ESPN reports, Stern may offer a new proposal with a 53 to 47 revenue split.