Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NBA To Drop Two More Weeks From Season Schedule

Things are looking slimmer than Kevin Durant's arms that the start of NBA season will ever begin soon and, according to the New York Daily News, the league will cancel at least two more weeks of its season.

The New York Daily News reported that a source—familiar with the NBA's plans—said the league will make the announcement today.

The NBA Players Association has yet to be officially notified of the axed games, but it looks like the the league will be putting additional games on ice.

The NBA has already cancelled the first two weeks of the season and the expected cancellations will lop another 102 games from the 2011-12 schedule.  These cancellations will run through Nov. 28 and would include Thanksgiving.

Commissioner David Stern told a radio audience last week that if a deal was not reached between players and owners by last Tuesday, Christmas Day games could be eliminated as well.

Stern was expected to make the announcement yesterday but just returned from being out with the flu which delayed pulling the trigger.

The NBA's first cancellations of 100 games had already pushed the Nov. 1 season opener to Nov. 14.

The talks have continued to break down and both parties are miles apart on "major" system issues, but there is some optimism that—even with both sides refusing to give in right now—a deal can be attainable at the bargaining table and Christmas games could be saved—includes the Knicks-Celtics annual match-up.

According to NBA players, they want to resume bargaining but they will not give in to the owner's precondition of accepting a 50-50 revenues split.

"I will call them to see if they want to get back together," player's rep Billy Hunter told ESPN.  "But if they still say there they'll only meet if I accept their 50-50 [proposal], to me that's a nonstarter.  I can't agree to meet if I don't know what's going to happen on the other issues.  That is intolerable."

The "system" issues—which have put the talks at a standstill—include deals which involve a new harder salary cap preferred by the owners and the preservation of a softer cap by the players..

Stern claims it will take at least a month to put the new bargaining agreement in writing.  He said the extra delay would hasten free-agency deals for up to 150 players and there would be a shortened training camp and preseason.

Optimistically, Stern said the league might be able to cut the start-up date to 28 days and give teams a 68-70 game season.

The Knicks have already filled in scheduled November home date with a Jay-Z concert.

No comments:

Post a Comment