The National Basketball Players' Association will hold a meeting in Los Angeles on Friday to assess the dire NBA lockout situation and discuss the union's strategy going forward, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
Having seen their entire preseason and two weeks of the regular season eliminated after Monday's league-issued deadline to have the structure of a deal in place was not met, the players have plenty to talk about -- and none of it is pleasant. A majority of the league's players are approximately one month away from missing their first paychecks, with the owners hoping the lost income eventually leads them to cave on their demands.
But union leaders Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher have said all along that the league's workforce was ready for this. The owners' strategy, as they see it, has been clear for approximately two years, with the goal to miss games and apply this sort of pressure all along.
Ironically, monies recently sent from the league to the players should help with their resolve. Players had eight percent of their salaries held by the NBA in an escrow account last season, and those funds that total $162 million have already been distributed to the 400-plus players. Because team spending last season didn't equal the agreed-upon threshold of 57 percent of basketball-related income from the previous collective bargaining agreement, checks totaling $26 million will also be sent to players soon.
While decertification of the union has been pushed by a group of seven power agents and discussed by all, it does not appear to be on the immediate horizon. Instead, the players insist they're ready to show their resolve as the lockout proceeds.