NEW YORK, Sept. 12 (AFP) â€“The National Basketball Association has slapped Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan with a $100,000 fine for comments about the leagueâ€™s labour dispute, ESPN reported Monday.
The NBA prohibits owners from speaking publicly about the collective bargaining process. League spokesman Tim Frank confirmed the penalty but declined to comment on the amount of the fine.
In an interview last month with Australiaâ€™s Herald Sun, Jordan said the NBAâ€™s current model was â€œbrokenâ€ and called for revenue sharing for small-market teams.
Jordan added he feels â€œowners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can coexist as partners.â€
A lockout of the players by the owners began on July 1.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Â NBA players and club owners met for talks for only the third time since a July 1 lockout shut down the league and planned to continue negotiations on Thursday and possibly Friday.
Six hours of talks last week led to the five-hour session Wednesday in New York, and while owners and players agreed not to talk about how talks were progressing, both sides faced pressure as precious time ticked away.
NBA training camps are scheduled to open October 1, just three weeks from Saturday, with a month of pre-season exhibitions ahead of the planned November 1 start of the 2011-2012 season.
â€œWe agreed that weâ€™re going to sit here for as many days as we can to see whether we can make progress, but we agreed not to characterize anything at all,â€ NBA commissioner David Stern said.
If a deal does not come soon, events will soon start to be called off and both sides will begin to lose revenues.
â€œTime is running down, not necessarily out, but I think we all feel in the room that if we continue to work at it we can possibly find a way to get a deal done,â€ said union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers.
â€œThereâ€™s a window here. We have an opportunity to make some progress, to try to hammer some things out.â€
The only time the NBA has lost games to a bargaining dispute came when the 1998-99 season was trimmed to 50 games per club.
â€œObviously, the more we have the opportunities to meet, talk and discuss and really try to figure out how we can put a deal together, the better, so you can characterize that as positive in a sense,â€ Fisher said.
â€œWhether we are making progress or we have momentum, we canâ€™t say and itâ€™s tough to say.
â€œUntil the deal is done, there is no deal.â€