NBA commissioner Adam Silver made his first public comments Sunday on reports the league and players’ association are nearing a new collective bargaining agreement, but didn’t divulge too many details.
“I’m not going to put any more specific timetable on it than that, but that we continue to meet,” Silver told reporters in Shanghai, where the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans in a preseason contest. “In fact, the head of the players’ association, Michele Roberts, was in Spain, where I just came from, where she was accompanying the Oklahoma City Thunder. We had an opportunity to speak there as well.
“So we continue to be engaged on a regular basis. I remain optimistic that we’re going to get something done relatively soon.”
Reports emerged last week that the two sides could finalize a deal by the time the regular season was underway. Both the NBA and the union currently reserve the right to exercise an opt-out clause on the existing CBA by Dec. 15. If that were to happen, the possibility of a work stoppage would loom over the 2017-18 season.
“There’s a sense from both the owners and the union management that there is a lot at stake here,” Silver said. “I think everyone’s feeling the pressure from all the constituents involved in this league for all the jobs that we provide that it’s incumbent upon us to work something out and to get a deal done.”
The NBA is awash in record revenues, with the new $ 24-billion TV deal with ESPN/ABC and TNT kicking in this season.