The first two weeks of basketball are officially cancelled. The NBA franchise and players still have not been able to come to an agreement and are looking at a loss of $350 million every month this lockout continues. Altogether, the players that make up the league collectively make $2.17 billion a year and with the first two weeks cancelled… that is a $175 million loss.
After roughly 13 hours of negotiations over two days failed to close what he termed a significant gulf “on virtually all issues,” NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season Monday night. Stern also suggested that the cancellations imposed on the 102nd day of the NBA lockout — just the second work stoppage in league history to bleed into the regular season — essentially guarantee that a full 82-game season has also been lost after fruitless talks found NBA owners and players unable to agree on key items such as luxury-tax specifics, contract lengths and annual raises.
Asked if he was prepared to rule out an 82-game schedule now that all games through Nov. 14 have been formally scrapped and not merely postponed, Stern said: “Yes, I think that’s right. And with every day that goes by, we need to look at further reductions in what’s left in the season.”
Said Hunter on Monday, intimating that cancelling games and forcing NBA players to miss checks has been the owners’ intent for months: “I’m convinced that this is all just part of the plan.
“I think everybody’s waiting for the players to cave,” Hunter added. “They figure that once a player misses a check or two, it’s all over. I’m saying … that would be a horrible mistake if they think that’s going to happen, because it’s not going to happen. The players are all going to hang in.”
Back in 1998-1999, the NBA lockout lasted for 204 days and once all arguments were settled, they managed to salvage 50 games left in the season. Apparently that was just a small quick fix, Union officials have been anticipating this lockout for some time now and stated that they are ready for the long haul but… what about the players?
Union exec. Billy Hunter states,”I think it would be foolish for them to kill the season. “We’re coming off the best season in the history of the NBA (in terms of revenues of TV ratings) and I’m not so sure, in this kind of economy, that if there is a protracted lockout whether the league will recover.
“It took us a while to recover from the ’98 lockout,” Hunter continued, “and I think it will take us even longer to recover this time around.” Union officials, though, contend that they have been preparing for this dour day for a long time, convinced for months that a lockout that shortened the season similar to 1998-99’s work stoppage was inevitable.
“I think it goes back to a comment that David made to me several years ago when he said, ‘Look, this is what my owners have to have,’ ” Hunter recounted. “And I said, ‘The only way you’re going to get that is if you’re prepared to lock us out for a year or two,’ and (this) indicated to me that they’re willing to do it. “So my belief, my contention, is that everything he’s done has kind of demonstrated that he’s following that script.”
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