Sep 29, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT
After Wednesday’s bargaining session between NBA owners and player ended, it sure did sound like David Stern was threatening to call off the entire NBA season if some kind of deal was not reached this weekend. Even if that really never made any sense.
ESPN reported that was the threat he was going to make. Not sure there are a lot of other ways to take a quote like this:
“Let’s get the two committees in and see if they can either have a season or not have a season. That’s what’s at risk this weekend.”
But Stern and the league say everyone has got that all wrong. What were we all thinking?
NBA spokesman Tim Frank response to #ESPN report that Stern will “threaten” to cancel season Fri: “It’s simply not true.”
Our man Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated added this tweet.
FYI, source says Stern had originally told the union that Jan. 7 was the date by which he would have to cancel the whole season if no deal.
I’m not sure if Stern was going to make that threat or not, but even if he did nobody was going to buy it. There is too much money at stake for both sides to arbitrarily call off the entire season in September.
Now, if there is not progress this weekend you can expect the rest of the NBA preseason to be called off. And if that happens, you can bet the regular season will not start on time. But even if the first couple weeks of the season are missed it is possible to play a more condensed schedule and get all 82 games in.
As for reaching at least the framework on which to build a deal, it’s possible. But the two sides still have a long way to go to find a middle ground. It sounds to me like Stern is rattling his saber trying to get a deal because he likes the terms right now, but the union is not going to be so easily swayed.
Negotiations resume Friday in New York with a large contingent of owners (about 15) and star NBA players expected to attend.
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