NBA lockout timeline: Events that led to the NBA canceling 2011-12 regular-season games
Seth Wenig, File, Associated Press
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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