Derek Fisher

NBA players received a letter from Derek Fisher, President of  the NBA Players Association, on Monday day 88 of the lockout.  The letter had a simple message (or plea) reminding players to stay patiently united.

The call for unity is to maintain player positions in negotiations with the owners, who have been described as “divided” because they do not share the same goals.  Patience is a virtue for Fisher who strongly opposes the pressure for instant gratification and wants a labor agreement that the players can accept and be satisfied with over time for the duration the agreement.

The pressure is becoming heavier and heavier from internal and external constituents, ranging from fans to vendors to television networks.  Each wants to see a resolution quickly.  The league’s popularity is apparent from the steady revenue escalation over the past few years, which supports the positive projections in the years to come.

Two of the major remaining issues of negotiation are (1) salary caps, desired by owners yet resisted by players, and (2) distribution percentages of revenue sharing between players and owners.  The revenue-sharing system could have significant impact for smaller-market teams facing more economic pressures than their larger brethren.

While details are to remain confidential through the negotiations, Fisher tells players that they have not been presented with specifics as of yet.  Both sides hope to meet Tuesday or Wednesday, the only options this week due to the Jewish holiday, making members of both baragining teams unavailable Wednesday evening through Friday. It has been rumoned that in order to save the regular season schedule start on November 1, an agreement must be made by October 15.  The clock keeps ticking.