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Billy Hunter urges players to stand firm

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1 Billy Hunter urges players to stand firm on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:50 am

NBA players' union executive director Billy Hunter, in a letter sent to members Tuesday, said the 50-50 split of basketball-related income sought by the league's owners would actually result in far greater concessions by the players and urged them to stand strong and united.

"Your role is an important one," Hunter told players in the letter, obtained by "The owners need to know that we will stand strong until they are ready to finish negotiating a fair deal -- not one reached with preconditions, and not one forced down our throat with the threat of missed paychecks."

In the letter, Hunter explained the reasons he ended the most recent wholesale jerseys bargaining session with the owners last Friday over the proposed 50-50 revenue split with the locked-out players.

After that session ended, commissioner David Stern announced that two more weeks of the NBA season would be canceled and that playing a full 82-game season was no longer possible.

"We will not be intimidated by public threats, ultimatums and manufactured drop-dead dates. We will stand firm in our resolve to negotiate a fair deal for our current membership and those who will join our ranks in the future," Hunter said.

The players, who received 57 percent of BRI under the last collective cheap mlb jerseys bargaining agreement, proposed a 52.5 percent share on Friday. When the owners said they would be willing to go to 50-50 but no higher, Hunter ended the session.

Hunter said BRI does not represent the total revenues generated by the league, and that the league is allowed to take hundreds of millions in "expense credits," which leave the players with less than the agreed-upon percentage of revenues.

"By comparison, we received 50 percent of total revenue under the nfl jerseys cheap previous CBA, and our 53-47 proposal would reduce the player share to 46.4 percent of total revenues," he explained. "In addition, compared to our former 57-43 split, the owner's proposed 50-50 shifts more than $300 million per year to the owners, which equates to more than $3 billion over a 10-year deal," Hunter explained.

"A move of this magnitude guarantees operating profits for all owners irrespective of quality of management and does not allow players to adequately share in the growth of the league."

While making clear that the two sides remain far apart on revenues, jerseys wholesale Hunter also outlined the progress the two sides made at the table during last week's talks, including raising the salary floor and adjusting the luxury tax system to diminish the gap between high-spending and low-spending teams.

While he described the compromise on the salary cap and luxury tax as "far from perfect," Hunter said he believes in the end, he will be able to recommend that players accept it

"Without question, we have given more than the owners, but at bottom, yotoforum we are determined to defend the principles we have fought for throughout -- guaranteed contracts, healthy minimums, fair maximums, a strong middle class, and a true market for free agency."

Hunter said the NBA seems determined to use hard bargaining tactics to get the deal it wants.

"They have given us 'take it or leave it' ultimatums, threatened to end the season prematurely, reached out to players in an attempt to divide us, misled the press, and pre-conditioned further talks on our acceptance of significant concessions," he said. "This is an unacceptable form of negotiation ... Moreover, it does nothing but damage the relationship between the league and union."

Hunter also said that he and union president Derek Fisher cheap nfl jerseys remain on the same page -- echoing Fisher's denial Monday of a report that Hunter and another unnamed member of the union's executive board have questioned Fisher about his relationship with Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
"Derek is a fearless defender of player rights both at the bargaining table and behind the scenes, and he carries out his duties as president with the same degree of courage, focus and tenacity that he has exhibited on the court as a five-time champion," Hunter said.

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