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NBA players holding firm after owners' ultimatum

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:11 PM EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Derek Fisher, left, president of the National Basketball Players Association, speaks next to Maurice Evans on Tuesday.
Derek Fisher, left, president of the National Basketball Players Association, speaks next to Maurice Evans on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "There isn't any player that wants us to take a bad deal," NBA players president Derek Fisher says
  • Tuesday's meeting was to explain the owners' latest offer to player representatives
  • The owners have given players a Wednesday deadline to accept the offer

(CNN) -- There has been no change in NBA players' position in the face of an ultimatum from the owners as the two sides try to reach a collective bargaining agreement, the president of the players' association said Tuesday.

"There isn't any player that wants us to take a bad deal," Derek Fisher said.

The league on Sunday gave the players' association until Wednesday afternoon to accept a deal after eight hours of meetings over the weekend.

Fisher said Sunday that the offer was not acceptable, and he reiterated Tuesday that the players' association is holding firm.

"That doesn't mean we won't continue to negotiate," Fisher said at a news conference after a meeting of players representing all but one of the NBA's teams.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has said the newest proposal gives players between 49% and 51% of revenues. If the players' association does not change its mind by Wednesday, the NBA will offer up another proposal -- one that offers players 47% of basketball revenues.

The current proposal says that if the league exceeds certain revenue forecasts, the players would receive 51%. If it didn't, the share would fall to 49%.

But Fisher said Sunday that "there'd be no way in the world we'd ever get to 51%" under the provisions.

The players' association's executive director, Billy Hunter, told CNN sister network TBS that Tuesday's meeting was intended to spell out the details of the owners' proposal, which they were "misunderstanding" based on media reports that focused on the revenue sharing offer.

Once they heard the details of the proposal, he said, "they were all horrified by it." He said it would "decimate" gains made by players in recent years.

Hunter said he is likely to meet with Stern before the owners' deadline Wednesday to see if there was any movement in their position.

Fisher, during the news conference, said the players are confident an agreement giving players a better deal would still be possible despite the owners' ultimatum.

The NBA season has been canceled through at least November 30, and the two sides are hoping they can reach a resolution before more games are called off.

Stern has said the 2010-2011 season was not profitable for most of the league's 30 owners, who want cost-cutting help from players. The league lost as much as $300 million last season, according to Stern.

One of the battles has focused on the owners' rejection of calls by the players' union for an average $7 million player salary in the sixth year of a new labor deal. The current average salary is about $5 million.

Other big issues include a fight over a move by owners to gain the bigger share of revenues and whether the NBA will strengthen its salary cap.

The league's owners began a lockout of players in early July.

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