NFL, NBA Face Tough Contract Bargaining Sessions

Jun 22, 2011
Originally published on June 22, 2011 6:56 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman is with us to talk about lockouts, walkouts and the prospects for a deal for either sport. Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So talk about football first. NFL owners met in Illinois yesterday. Did we find out anything new about the negotiations?

GOLDMAN: Another part of the proposal, the controversial 18-game schedule that would extend the regular season by two games, the owners aren't going to force that on the players.

MONTAGNE: And training camps are scheduled to start in about a month. Are the two sides going to be able to get a deal done in time?

GOLDMAN: Goodell said yesterday there's an urgency for everybody to get this done.

MONTAGNE: And, Tom, turning to basketball. Is the NBA better or worse off than the NFL when it comes to labor?

GOLDMAN: I'd say right now worse. The NBA appears to be where the NFL was in the days leading up to the start of its lockout - the NFL's lockout. It's not sounding very optimistic in the NBA.

MONTAGNE: Well, rattle off for us the main issues of the NBA. And then, you know, what's your opinion, are they likely to work things out?

GOLDMAN: So are you confused?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: So this great NBA season that just ended has been replaced by an apparent battle over the words: hard, soft and flex. And it's looking like they may not resolve things by next Friday, the first day owners can impose a lockout. And if there is a lockout, the challenge, like the one going on in the NFL right now, is can the smart people who run the NBA get it all sorted out by the time next season rolls around, and avoid canceling any games. And that, of course, is all fans care about.

MONTAGNE: Tom, thank you very much.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

MONTAGNE: NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.