Though this is totally out of character, Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof are adhering to David Stern's gag order regarding NBA labor relations and biting down hard on their tongues. Normally, these guys can't help themselves. They are universally regarded as two of the most accessible and approachable owners in the league. But their allegiance to Stern - and his threat and/or levying of hefty fines - has kept them quiet. And believe me, I've tried. My colleagues also have been texting them like crazy, to little avail. (Hey, they've lost enough money of late, right?)
On Monday - which would have been opening night of the 2011-12 regular season - Stern hit Miami Heat owner Micky Arison with a $500,000 fine for his labor-related tweets with fans. The Commissioner previously fined Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan $100,000 when MJ offered his thoughts on the situation.
While no formal meetings between the league and the union were scheduled as of late Monday, rest assured, they're working the back channels. The way these NBA labor dealings usually transpire, representatives from both parties secretly meet to try to bridge the differences. And since the differences seem to be narrowed to the split of basketball-related income (BRI), meaning they're not very far part, one has to suspect that private conversations remain intense and ongoing.