NEW YORK (AP) - The executive director of the NBA coaches association called on owners and players Sunday to resume discussions toward ending the lockout.
Michael Goldberg wrote in an open letter to the NBA, the players' association and players that the upcoming season "must be saved."
"To do otherwise will cause a self-inflicted economic blow to an enterprise that over the years through the hard work of players, team owners and the league office has become a great global brand, but, like every business operating in today's fragile economic landscape, one that is more susceptible to 'decline and fall,"' he added.
Players rejected the league's latest proposal for a new labor deal last week and disbanded the union, paving the way for players to file two antitrust lawsuits.
Goldberg argues against that strategy, writing that "litigation and the 'courts' are not the answer - 'been there and done that."' Instead, he urges them to make a deal, saying that "partial or lost seasons are a huge mistake and a blow to any sport that requires years of painful business rebuilding to get back on track."
David Boies, an attorney representing the players in a suit filed in Northern California, has said he hoped the sides would settle instead of a lengthy legal fight.
Goldberg has headed the NBCA, serving as a liaison between the league and its head and assistant coaches, for more than three decades. He cites the damage the NHL caused itself after its season-long shutdown in 2004-05 as something the NBA must avoid.
"There is no time to waste," he wrote. "History has proven that all sports labor conflicts are ultimately solved. No doubt all sides are concerned about their financial well-being and rightly so. But everyone involved must now think beyond their own interests, check out the daily financial headlines, and work towards a negotiated solution now."