David Stern said Thursday that if the players' union does not accept the league's NBA lockout proposal after a meeting with team representatives early next week, the owners will follow up on the commissioner's threat to drop their offer to 47 percent of revenue for players and a hard salary cap.
If the union does take the deal by Monday or Tuesday, a 72-game season would begin December 15.
Stern wouldn't quite say that this proposal was the league's last, best offer, but that was a heavy indication through his address to the media following Thursday's talks. He said he is strongly confident that the owners will approve the deal if the union does, but wouldn't characterize his sense of the players' current feeling about it. He also wouldn't give any details on the offer itself, though it's not expected to be much different from the one outlined in a letter to union director Billy Hunter last week.