It’s safe to say the NBA is in full crisis mode now after the league announced Monday that the first two weeks of the season have been canceled.
"Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players' union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.
The NBA owners and players met for seven hours in hopes of negotiating a deal Monday but were unable to reach an agreement. Commissioner David Stern then made good on his threat to cancel the first two weeks of the regular season with the promise more weeks will be canceled from the season soon if the two sides aren’t able to reach a deal.
This is the first time regular season games have been lost since the 1998–99 campaign when the season was shortened to 50 games because of labor issues. Believe it or not, this one could be worse and much longer because there seems to be no bend in Stern and the owners this time.
“They are more dug in than before, but it goes back to a comment David made to me several years ago,” NBA Player's Association executive director Billy Hunter told journalists. “ ‘This is what my owners have to have.’ And I said, ‘The only way you’re going to get that, is if you’re prepared to lock us out for a year or two.’ And he’s indicated to me that they’re willing to do it."
“So my belief is that everything he’s done is demonstrating that he’s following that script.”
And the script could end with a lost season. Stern is hinting that the owners offer on revenue sharing and compromise on a hard salary cap will only get worse as games are missed and there is less revenue coming in.
Now we will see just how united the NBA players are as they are assured to be missing paychecks.
The NBA is offering refunds plus interest to NBA season-ticket holders for all preseason and regular season games that are canceled.
(Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)