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Players Association taking their sweet time

The owners made the first move, put the first offer of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the table -- a radically different and lopsided offer, but an offer. They want to negotiate now. In this economy. When they are losing boatloads of money. When they have leverage.

Salary cap guru Larry Coon of the New York Times caught up with Derek Fisher recently, and asked the president of the Players Association how their counter offer is coming along.

Fisher said there was no specific timeline for completing its proposal. “We know there’s going to be a lot of work involved,” he said. “We’ll keep pushing, and see what we can give back into their hands. There’s not a timeline or any guarantee it will be in their hands by a certain date.

“We have this season, this summer and the entire year next year before we get down to doomsday.”

The players want to negotiate later, like next year around this time. When the economy looks like it will have turned around and the owners are not losing money (or as much). When public opinion does not lean toward management as it does right now. The players know they are going to have to give back, but next year they may not give back nearly as much.

So they drag their feet. They can as this CBA lasts until the summer of 2011.

Still, it’s hard not to see the last word Fisher said -- “doomsday.” There are times you feel that is what is coming with this league.