NBA players association to mull owners’ latest offer in key meeting

MIAMI — Decision day for NBA players might have arrived.

The players association will meet in New York today, a session that could lead to the end of the lockout or send it into a bigger tailspin. Representatives from all 30 teams are expected, as are other players, to examine and discuss a seven-page summary of the NBA’s latest collective bargaining proposal to the union.

The proposal, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, was dated to be delivered to union executive director Billy Hunter on Friday. At least some of the people who will be in today’s meeting said Sunday they had not yet seen the offer, creating more than a little confusion over what exactly is on the table.

By today, things could finally become clear — because this union meeting might decide if basketball will be played this season.

Some project that team payrolls will exceed $100 million in the next five or so years, even to the chagrin of many owners. And on Saturday, commissioner David Stern said again if the current offer is rejected, a harsher one — where owners would keep about another $120 million of basketball related income each year, along with other so-called system issues that players didn’t want — will take its place.

“We’re not going to cancel the season this week,” Stern said. “We’re just going to present them what we told them we would.”

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