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Report: An NBA season on league’s Christmas list?

Nov 19, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

NBA Commissioner Stern speaks to reporters in New York Reuters

After one of the labor talks breakdowns, I forget which one, I gave up. It wasn’t that the rug had been pulled out from under me, it’s that the two sides had hit that point where it made financially so much more sense to make a deal than not make a deal, and they were still futzing around with their over-dramatic nonsense and stupid talking points. So I decided to stop hoping for a deal. Hope is stupid. That’s my official stance, and I’m sticking with it. The two sides are too blinded by their own agendas to seek out a bargain, which is what a bargaining table is for.

But, if you’re into that whole “hope beyond hope” thing, we’ve got something for you.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the league may be holding its cards to vest and keeping up with its bluff face, but in reality, there’s a push to get a deal… just in time for Christmas.

Despite the grim outlook of potentially lengthy and costly lawsuits, there are strong indications that NBA officials and attorneys representing the players want to take one more shot at reaching a settlement before the possibility of having close to a full season is devoured by the legal process.

Two people who have been briefed on the leagues strategy told CBSSports.com the NBA is holding out hope a settlement can be reached in time for the season to begin no later than Christmas. One of those people said the process already is under way through what he described as “back-channeling,” although sources from both sides professed no knowledge of such conversations.

A third person said that based on how vendor contracts and other financial arrangements were put in place, starting the season by Christmas would be optimal as far as preserving those relationships, and of course, revenues. Multiple people who have spoken with top NBA officials about the matter said it is understood that starting the season after Christmas is not viewed as a viable option.

via NBA, players hoping for one more shot at settlement – NBA – CBSSports.com Basketball.

The problem? Sure, there are people on the league’s side that want games by Christmas. But they haven’t been the ones driving the conversation. Not since this whole thing started. It’s hard-liners, on both sides, who have the controls. And those owners are going to want to wait and trust that the courts won’t fall for the players’ disclaim of interest, that it won’t rule in favor of an illegal boycott when the players can play in Europe, that they’ll win the court cases and the players will come crawling back, broken.

It’s nice to have something to hold out hope for. But unless both sides can corral their more volatile elements, the NBA fan’s stocking is going to be empty this year as the Grinch, whichever side you think that is, steals Christmas.

  1. eaglessuperfan - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    And pigs could fly too.

  2. mgscott - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    At this point nobody really cares about the NBA.

  3. tomtravis76 - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Nobody outside the players and organizations seems to be missing the NBA. There is enough college basketball, college football, and NFL on to keep all sports fans satisfied. If you don’t want to play, fans will find other ways sports to follow. Stay away long enough and fans forget about you, just ask the NHL. Hopefully when they do comeback they realize that the league should have less games each season.

  4. acieu - Nov 19, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    FTNBA

  5. trbowman - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Don’t even bother getting other people’s hopes up.

    It’s not happening. There won’t be any NBA basketball this season, period. End of story. I don’t know if writers are strolling for hits or what, but it’s not happening. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

  6. jmb795 - Nov 20, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Crickets.

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