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.
July 29: FIBA, basketball's world governing body, announced it would clear NBA players under contract to play in its leagues during the work stoppage, provided the deals they sign come with opt-out clauses.
Aug. 1: For the first time since June, both sides meet — but make little progress. No new proposals are exchanged and the tone shifts drastically. "I don't feel optimistic about the players' willingness to engage in a serious way," Stern said.
Aug. 19: Financially speaking, China is the most lucrative landing spot for NBA players. But the Chinese association ruled it only would accept NBA free agents and wouldn't approve opt-out clauses.
Aug. 29: Denver Nuggets free agent Wilson Chandler agrees to a one-year deal with Chinese club Zhejiang Guangsha. A versatile two-way player, Chandler was one of the NBA's top free agents.
Aug. 31: In the second joint meeting since the lockout, the sides emerge from a six-hour session but remain mum. "We just feel that a little bit less — or a lot less — of talking outside of the room and more talking inside of the room is better for everyone," Fisher said.
Sept. 13: The sides meet for the third time in two weeks, but this one is larger, with both committees present. Still, there's not much progress.
Sept. 22: Consecutive days of talks prove fruitless. Stern and Fisher say "the calendar is not our friend" as the cancellation of exhibition games and training camps loom.
Sept. 23: The league announces that training camps are postponed and 43 preseason games, from Oct. 9-15, have been canceled.
Sept. 28: After consecutive days of small meetings and an exchange of "concepts" — both sides deny formal proposals had been exchanged — Stern declares there would be "enormous consequences" if a deal isn't reached by the weekend.
Sept. 30: With the likes of James, Anthony, Wade, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul in attendance, the sides don't make progress towards a deal. The meeting became heated, with Wade snapping at Stern for finger-pointing.
Oct. 3: Fisher emerges from a small meeting with owners to say the larger meeting between committees Tuesday would be "very huge," with the cancellation of regular-season games in the balance. Seven major agents, many having tried to push the union to decertify against the wishes of Fisher and Hunter, sent a letter to players that insisted they don't take any further reduction of BRI, maintain current levels of the various cap exceptions, no reduction in contract lengths, no changes to unrestricted free agency, no reduction in maximum salary from existing levels and that they ask to see the financial books for all seasons under the old CBA.
Oct. 4: Stern cancels the remaining preseason schedule, 114 games total, as the sides fail to make enough progress. Hunter said it could be another month or two before the sides meet again.
Oct. 5: Both sides admit there is a small opening to reach a deal on the split of BRI, possibly preserving the 82-game regular season. Kessler, however, put a damper on such optimism: "I don't want to dismiss that because we welcome the movement and we're much closer than we were in June, much closer. But there's still a gulf," he said.
Oct. 7: Owners demand players agree to a 50-50 split of BRI before another meeting can be arranged.
Oct. 10: After more than seven hours of meetings in New York, Stern announced the regular season would not start on time Nov. 1. He cancels the first two weeks of the regular season, which leads to losses of 100 games and about $325 million in BRI.
Oct. 17: Federal mediator George Cohen meets with each side separately, ahead of the next day's joint session.
Oct. 18: Each side meets with federal mediator George Cohen in New York for 16-plus hours, by far the longest of the lockout. They break with both sides promising to not comment publicly and will return eight hours later to continue.
Oct. 19: The sides meet for another eight-plus hours and will reconvene the next day after the NBA's Board of Governors meetings end.
Oct. 20: With Stern sent home with the flu, Silver takes charge of meetings on the owners' end. The mediated talks go on for five hours before breaking off with both sides saying the other ended it. Cohen releases a statement saying there didn't seem to be any good reason to continue at this time.
Oct. 26: With little notice, small groups from both sides return to the negotiating table and meet for more than 15 hours, into the wee hours of the next day. Fisher says "some progress was made on system issues," enough for the sides to return the next day, but BRI is not raised.
Oct. 28: Talks take a sharp downward turn as Hunter walks out of a meeting, saying he felt "snookered" by the owners' refusual to negotiate above a 50-50 split for the players. Stern cancels the last two weeks of games in November and concludes there's no chance for a full 82-game season.
Nov. 3: The players union holds a three-hour executive board meeting at their offices, voicing support for Hunter and Fisher and disputing reports of dissension.
Nov. 5-6: After an almost nine-hour meeting with Cohen, the union offers to drop from 52.5 percent to 51 percent BRI, which totals about $600 million in additional concessions over 10 years. That wasn't enough for owners. Kessler calculated the NBA's offer was actually 50.2 percent.
Nov. 9-10: After two days of negotiations of roughly 23 hours, Stern announces the league has given the players a revised offer based off those talks. It's still basically a 50-50 split of BRI, with a few minor adjustments on the system issues to the players' liking, such as an opt-out clause on the CBA after six years. Stern says if the deal is accepted, a 72-game season could start Dec. 15. And if it is not, the league's offer will revert to 53-47 on BRI with a hard salary cap and no salary exceptions. Hunter says he will take the proposal to the team player representatives.
Nov. 13: Stern says "we're finished negotiating."
Nov. 14: The union's executive committee meets with the team player representatives to discuss accepting the proposal and unanimously vote to reject and dissolve.
Nov. 15: Players miss their first paycheck of the season. Instead, they file antitrust lawsuits against the league for the lockout, in California and Minnesota.
Nov. 21: Boies announces consolidating the lawsuits into one filed in Minneapolis. He says there has been no contact with the league since the players rejected the last offer Nov. 14, but he would not be averse to making the first call.Comment on this story
Nov. 22: The sides quietly resume negotiations, which is not discovered until the next day. They work off the owners' last proposal, now with the goal of a 66-game season.
Nov. 23: Jonathan Schiller, an attorney for the players, confirms "there would be preliminary settlement discussions with the NBA immediately after Thanksgiving with regard to the lawsuit filed recently by the players."
Nov. 25: The sides begin meeting at noon — and into the 15th hour, they emerge with a tentative deal. They do not release specifics, other than Stern saying training camps and free agency would start Dec. 9, and a 66-game season would start Christmas Day.