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NBA cancels first two weeks of season after talks stall out

Oct 10, 2011, 9:56 PM EDT

Padlock Arena AP AP

NBA owners and players met for more than seven hours on Monday, but that was not enough to save the start of the season.

NBA Commissioner David Stern emerged from the talks, said he was sad then added the first two weeks of the NBA’s regular season have been canceled. Those games were set to start Nov. 1 and most teams will lose between six and eight games. Stern added there is now no chance of a full 82 game regular season.

And you might want to expect more to be canceled. Here is what Stern said, via tweets from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Stern: “we remain very, very apart on all issues.”

Stern: “With every day that goes by, there will be further reductions on what’s left of the season”

NBA players union head Billy Hunter said that the players probably had to miss some games — and maybe some paychecks — to show the owners their resolve and unity. The bad news for fans is that it would be Nov. 15 before the players actually do not get a paycheck they would have otherwise received.

Usually in negotiations, once you pass this point where games are canceled, both sides dig in a little more. This is going to get worse before it gets better, both sides may take a step back from their last offer. Stern has said previously once games are missed the offer from the owners would get worse for the players, not better. Meaning it is possible it could be a while — weeks or more — before we see real movement again.

There are no new meetings scheduled, although Stern said the two sides would remain in touch.

Stern said the two sides could not get together on “system issues,” which means things like the salary cap, luxury tax and contract lengths. In this case it really means a hard salary cap, as seen in the NHL and NFL. Some owners want it. While the owners officially took a hard cap off the table, their replacement system of an escalating luxury tax was a hard cap by another name. The union did not like that. There was said to be progress on little things over the past couple days — such as the sides being near a deal on the mid-level exception — but that is just one piece of a large puzzle. And not the key pieces.

The bigger issue remains the split of “basketball related income,” which is all the money that comes into the league through ticket sales, national television deals, jersey sales and just about everything else. The players want 53 percent of that pie, the owners are only offering 47 percent, Stern said. (In the old deal the players got 57 percent.) While there had been talk of the owners offering a 50/50 split of BRI, Stern after the meeting talked of only 47 percent.  Players who spoke to PBT Sunday night were adamant they would not drop below 53 percent.

The system and BRI issues are linked — the less stiff the taxes the more the owners will want in BRI. For Stern to say they could not work out the system issues is to say they couldn’t strike a balance on the two issues.

  1. eaglesandravens - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    And there goes their main support: the fans

  2. cmr123 - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    The thing that should bother the NBA is that NOBODY CARES………..

  3. trbowman - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Let’s go small market owners let’s go! Let’s go small market owners let’s go!

    • Billy Suede - Oct 11, 2011 at 12:10 AM

      i’m sure you’ll be receiving a kickback if the owners win…

      the check will be in the mail.

  4. getadealdonealready - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    What if they cancel the season and no one cares?

  5. cosanostra71 - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Sweet I’m stoked to miss more games because millionaires and billionaires are in a fight.

  6. sknut - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    The small market owners can really dig in their heels at this point. I would be suprised if this thing is settled before Jan 1. It’s sad and predictable. And this is two lockouts in what 12 years and Stern is so great why?

  7. gmenmunny - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    As Charles Barkley would say, That’s turrible.

  8. riders008 - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    They have to figure this out …its is a business……but why do they only schedule meetings once a week…..last week was the week before games started to get canceled and they met up only twice and that was at the end of the week. Hey NBA get serious or just quit alltogether….either way you are f’in up all the great things you did last year….and starting to lose fans…..

  9. arrooo - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    This is great, now espn doesn’t have to force feed us slam dunk highlights 24-7.

  10. hay1111 - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Its dumb to have this stoppage in the middle of football season because i could care less about bball right now. Both sides lose the pr war

  11. ghult - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Does anyone really care?? Be honest!

    I vote to cancel the entire season….

  12. stairwayto7 - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:52 PM


  13. bmmayhew - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Someone should let the NBA and it’s players that the 5000 people who a actually care about pro basketball will rapidly find something better to do if the lockout continues.

  14. gmenmunny - Oct 11, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    That’s turrible.

    /Sir Charles Barkley

  15. florida727 - Oct 11, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    Time for the sides to dig in? Time for the FANS to unite and boycott the entire season. Time for the FANS to send a message that $20 to park your car, $8 beers, $6 hot dogs, etc., are unacceptable to the FANS.

    It is also time for the players to understand they have ZERO leverage in this fiasco. They are EMPLOYEES of the owners. Try going to your boss today and telling him/her you would work today unless you get 53% of the revenues or profits or whatever, and see how that works out for you. There are others waiting in line to take their jobs, just like there are ours.

  16. Gordon - Oct 11, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    They announce the first 2 weeks are cancelled & there’s 7 comments on this story. That shows you how much apathy there is towards the NBA.

    If this was announced for the NFL, PFT would be flooded with comments.

    • florida727 - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      That is so incredibly true…

  17. brucewaynewins - Oct 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Hey I’ve honestly not been following this one iota. Is there any stories on this website about how the free agency will be handled once this is over with?

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:46 AM

      Not really, because nobody knows until there is a labor system in place. That said, it will basically be a feeding frenzy, we just don’t know what teams can spend yet.

  18. arrooo - Oct 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Here’s hoping there is no season altogether. Having to endure ESPN force feeding us slam dunk highlights 24/7, gets old real quick.

  19. premiumpit - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Go outside the country and see who cares about the NFL…I love football but just calling it how is it is…

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:42 AM

      But here football is the 800 pound gorilla.

  20. cmack21 - Oct 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    basketball really sucks untill the All Star break.they arent the NFL so no one really cares, the season is too long, just a reminder… more ppl watched the NFL draft last year than the opening playoffs games last year. The draft is guys in suits shaking hands and a few highlight clips, pretty much a bunch of nothing, and the PLAYOFFS cant beat that?!? WOW.

  21. premiumpit - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Its the 800 pound gorilla because of the betting aspect. Its the most bet on sport. Take that away and you will take away half the veiwers. The NFL knows this.

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