NBA lockout timeline: Events that led to the NBA canceling 2011-12 regular-season games


Published: Saturday, Nov. 26 2011 8:00 p.m. MST

In this Nov. 14, 2011, file photo, surrounded by NBA basketball players, Billy Hunter, right, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter, right, speaks to the media as Players Association president Derek Fisher, left, listens during a news conference in New York. NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement early Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee tripleheader Dec. 25.

Seth Wenig, File, Associated Press

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Jan. 29: NBA owners make original proposal for a collective bargaining agreement more than a year before the current one expires. The proposal suggests drastic financial change, including a "hard" salary cap and mid-level exceptions. It also seeks to reduce player contracts to a maximum of four years and decrease the players' share of basketball-related income (BRI) from 57 percent to less than 50 percent.

Feb. 12-14: A heated meeting between the sides takes place, sides with NBA Commissioner David Stern proclaiming the 30 NBA clubs would lose almost $400 million combined.

Feb. 18-20: During All-Star weekend in Dallas, players quickly reject the proposal.

July 2: The union offers its first counterproposal — keep a "soft" salary cap, no changes to the luxury tax system and better revenue-sharing among clubs — but the owners quickly reject theirs, too.

Aug. 12: A four-hour meeting takes place in New York, with the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade present. A joint statement was released that termed the talks "constructive" and "productive" and that there would be another meeting before training camp in October.

Oct. 21: Stern said owners "would like to get profitable, have a return on investment. There's a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of $750 (million) to $800 million that we would like to change. That's our story and we're sticking with it." He also maintains that contraction of clubs could be an option.

Nov. 18-22: Both sides meet again, after the 2010-11 regular season is underway. Union executive director Billy Hunter emerges to say he is "99 percent sure" that there will be a lockout after the season.


Jan. 20: Owners and the union agree to meet again during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles next month, although NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said the hectic atmosphere wouldn't be conducive for a productive meeting. Silver also said "our position hasn't changed."

Feb. 18: There is a two-hour meeting but no real progress is made as the union quickly rejected the owners' proposal. The talks were "cordial" but negotiation still hasn't begun in earnest.

April 22: The league follows up with a new proposal to the union, with Stern saying during a conference call that it would indicate to the players "some modicum of flexibility in our approach, and we're trying to engage the union in a dialogue."

May 24: The union files a lawsuit with the National Labor Relations Board to try to prevent a lockout when the collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.

June 17: The league backs off its demand to eliminate guaranteed contracts after a four-hour meeting. The union, however, said that's not enough if the NBA still wants a "hard" salary cap, after three meetings during the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. Stern said this was the first time the union expressed strong objection to non-guaranteed contracts.

June 30-July 1: In a last-ditch effort to prevent a lockout after more than a year of meetings, the sides exchange various proposals during a three-hour session, but to no avail. Said Stern: "It worries me that we're not closer and we spent all this time trying to get closer. We have a huge philosophical divide." In a call with the labor relations committee, Stern recommended that the first lockout since the 1998-99 season be imposed.

July 12: Because players received less than 57 percent of BRI in the last CBA, $160 million from escrow funds was returned.

July 16: New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams signs a contract with Turkish club Besiktas, becoming the first All-Star to agree to play overseas until the lockout ends.

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