UPDATE: NBA Postpones Training Camps, Cancels 43 Exhibition Games
UPDATE: The League has made it official this morning: “NBA POSTPONES TRAINING CAMPS FOR 2011-12 SEASON, CANCELS 43 PRESEASON GAMES.”
Some preseason games have also been axed: “In addition, the league canceled all preseason games scheduled from October 9 through October 15. ‘We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,’ said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. ‘We will make further decisions as warranted.’”
Thursday’s high-level labor meeting between reps for NBA team owners and players produced little else but more doom and gloom from both sides.
To make matters considerably worse, reports from multiple media outlets (including the League’s very own official website) indicate that the NBA will announce the cancellation of exhibition games and the first two weeks of training camps — which were all slated to take place in early October.
The announcement is expected at some point today. Yahoo! Sports reports:
After failing to make progress in collective bargaining talks with the Players Association, NBA commissioner David Stern will formally cancel the first two weeks of training camp and exhibition games in October after a call with league owners on Friday, NBA sources told Yahoo! Sports.
“No announcement to make today,” Stern said, “but the calendar is not our friend.” A league source told Y! Sports on Wednesday that the league was prepared to announce the delay of the preseason by the end of the week if no progress was made in Thursday’s meeting. Silver said the sides hope to meet again next week. The NBA’s training camps were expected to open Oct. 3 and six exhibition games were scheduled for Oct. 9. The league is expected to cancel exhibition games through Oct. 15 on Friday and then re-evaluate the final two weeks of the preseason on Oct. 1. The scheduled Nov. 1 start to the regular season also is in danger of being postponed.
This labor war will only get nastier, if the latest reports are to be believed.
According to ESPN, the owners want players to get a significantly smaller portion of basketball-related income (BRI) going forward: “Under the previous agreement, which expired July 1, the players were guaranteed a minimum of 57 percent of basketball-related revenue would be spent on salaries. In negotiations, the players’ union had offered to reduce its percentage to as much as 54 percent to accommodate the owners’ contention they lost $300 million last season, with the stipulation that a mechanism would be instituted to reward the players if future revenue increased. The league offered players 46 percent of basketball-related revenue, 11 percent less than they received in last deal and seven percent less than [the] last proposal by players, a league source said. Owners agreed to try to come up with a mechanism to solve their issues without adding a hard salary cap before the next meeting, according to the source.”