As the NBA and Players Association trudge toward a possible doomsday deadline, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant(notes) urged owners to meet with the players union before Wednesday and spare the league from “spiraling into a nuclear winter.”
“We need for the two sides to get together again before Wednesday, because we’re too close to getting a deal done,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. “We need to iron out the last system items and save this from spiraling into a nuclear winter.”
The NBA and Players Association are discussing setting up a meeting for Tuesday to try and reach agreement on a labor deal, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. Nothing is finalized, but the sides were working toward having a session in New York before before Wednesday’s league-imposed deadline for the union to accept the owners’ current offer.
Lakers guard Steve Blake(notes) has been canvassing peers throughout the league over the past 48 hours, pushing them to contact team player representatives to push the Players Association to let its 450-plus membership vote on the owner’s ultimatum offer, sources said.
Blake hasn’t been pushing players to vote “yes” or “no” on the deal, but has gained a groundswell of support with players throughout the league. Nevertheless, Blake is a proponent of accepting the league’s current offer, sources said.
As a counter, there are multiple players pushing to get a petition together to start the process of decertifying the union, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. Agents have little doubt they can muster the 30 percent of the union – approximately 130 players – to push decertification to a formal vote after a 45-day waiting period.
Players representatives of the 30 teams are meeting in New York on Tuesday to discuss the union’s next steps.