Brace yourselves, because the NBA is expected to announce Tuesday that it is cancelling at least two more weeks of the season.
This news should come as no surprise after last week's failed negotiations to hash out a new collective bargaining agreement and end the current lockout. The only mild surprise is that the league isn’t announcing it’s cancelling games through Christmas, as had been threatened by commissioner David Stern prior to last week’s meetings.
The first two weeks of the season in November were cancelled earlier this month. More weeks are expected to be lost as the NBA owners and players remain significantly apart on the issues of revenue sharing and a hard salary cap.
Last week’s talks broke down when the owners put down a take-it-or-leave offer of a 50-50 split on the revenue distribution. The players offered to accept 52.5 percent of the profits as a compromise, which is down from the 57 percent they received under the old CBA. That’s when the owners walked.
The problem now is that nobody is talking. There are no new negotiating sessions scheduled, though the players’ side certainly sounds ready to come back to the table.
"I will call them to see if they want to get back together," Billy Hunter said on Bill Simmons’ ESPN podcast Monday. "But if they still say they'll only meet if I accept their 50-50 (proposal), to me that's a non-starter. I can't agree to meet if I don’t know what is going to happen on the other issues. That is intolerable."
(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)