Divided Bases Threaten Compromise

Both the players and owners appear to be divided internally Tuesday as the two sides hurtle toward a Wednesday deadline on the owners' proposed deal.  Hardliners in both camps are unhappy with the deal's outlines that  David Stern put forward while more moderate types are hoping that tweaks to the plan could save the season.

Chris Broussard reports that "7-11 hard-line owners expressed their displeasure with David Stern's 50/50 offer to the players Monday on a conference call", suggesting these owners "fear the player reps meeting in NYC Tuesday will push for approval of the deal." The leaders of the group, Michael Jordan, Paul Allen and Herb Kohl, hope the players reject the deal so they can revert to a more draconian proposal, Broussard adds.

Meanwhile, Adrian Wojnarowski reports more moderate owners "could be willing to tweak system issues to cut deadline deal with union" but Stern "has never had less pull with owners". And as player reps gather in New York for a meeting, there are calls for a vote on the Stern proposal, a vote on decertification or one last meeting between the two sides.

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