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Thursday, November 24th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  34 responses

Can the NBA’s Christmas Day Games Be Saved?


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

NBA labor talks have resumed, with the hope that a shortened season can begin on Christmas Day.

Following talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, negotiations are expected to continue tomorrow in New York CIty, with the League reportedly pushing to have a truncated, 66-game season starting on December 25th.

From the NY Times:

If a deal is reached this weekend, it would give the league the approximately four-week window it needs to prepare for a Dec. 25 opening day. That date is enticing to everyone involved, allowing the league to take advantage of the holiday setting and a captive television audience that, they hope, might be in a forgiving mood. Christmas is also the traditional tipoff for the N.B.A.’s national TV schedule. A tipoff before New Year’s provides enough time for a compressed, 66-game schedule, 16 fewer than normal, despite starting eight weeks late. It would require extending the regular season into late April and pushing back the finals by a week.

Before owners and players can contemplate any of that, they must resolve the same prickly issues that killed talks two weeks ago: how to restrict the top-spending teams while still ensuring a robust free-agent market. The parties essentially picked up where they left off Nov. 10, discussing a proposal that includes a 50-50 split of revenue, shorter contracts and tougher spending restrictions. The players rejected that deal, but on the basis of a half-dozen mechanical issues which, in the grander scheme, are fairly minor. They have already conditionally agreed to the 50-50 split and most of the new payroll restrictions. Neither side has tried to put any new issues on the table, or backed away from previously negotiated points, according to those informed on the talks. That gives the parties hope that a deal not only can be achieved, but can be consummated quickly.

Jeffrey Kessler, the highly-controversial lawyer for the players’ side (and someone that David Stern has a deep, personal dislike for) is said to no longer be part of the negotiations; respected mediator Jim Quinn has seemingly taken his place, with the hope being that he can help push a deal through.

Given all that’s happened since the NBA lockout began in July, there’s no reason to be optimistic that an agreement can be reached over the weekend. But, at this point, what else can we do but hope?

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  • http://twitter.com/yo_mister Jesse

    I think Stern really wants the Xmas day games. Wonder if he has enough sway with this new crop of owners to do what he can to get a deal done. Although obviously it isn’t all on him.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I am really basketball-starved right now…

  • Overtime

    Can someone answer a Q for me? Just wondering…if the players decertified the union, who exactly is the NBA talking to? Im told its not Fisher or Hunter?

  • Thomas

    There will be a season and I know it!

  • Yesse

    Nope.

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    sucks cause if we weren’t hoping, we wouldn’t be fans.
    it’s all we can do

  • CARTEL

    Face it everyone, we’re not getting a season…And at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have a NEXT season!!!!

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    i dont need ball on christmas, i need it at 10:30 on a random tuesday night. Ive been to busy watching ball my whole life i never realised the ONLY other things on tv are reality shows about morons signing & dancing. Ive never in my life been so excited about the Maui Invitational.

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    Boing, we are pretty much the same person right now.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Stern wants this over for his legacy. I would be a bit surprised if he doesn’t get what he wants.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I so started watching College basketball games too.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com/ Seth

    I’d love to see NBA games on Christmas. Realistically, though? Prob gonna have to settle for movies.

  • JuicyM

    Boing hit it right on point…

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    @overtime, they didn’t really decertify though did they. But hunter and fisher have not negotiated since then from what i have read. They probably speak to players representing each team or something like that, but i read fisher might be back in the picture this weekend. Allenp please correct whatever i wrote that was not accurate.

  • Everynowhere

    “fool me once, shame on…shame on you. you fool me you can’t get fooled again!” Wise words right there.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Unfortunate that the entire season is likely lost. Everybody is turning a year older, and who knows, the next time a game is played, it may have lost guys like Juwan Howard, Jermaine O’neal, Brad Miller, etc. to retirement..

  • Tano

    Italy’s Acea Roma just signed Tyreke Evans!!!!!

  • Marco

    YES!!! Tyreke’s coming!

  • ALAN

    WITH MONEY YOU CAN SAVE EVERYTHING YOU WANT EXCEPT THE DEATH

  • EtheKnickFan

    Real question is will there b an all star game in orlando…..if not Im stuck with hella bootlegs!

  • BBaller

    With more and more players venturing off overseas it’s hard to be optimistic about the 11-12 season. Some players are doing it and claiming they just want to stay in shape but why would T.Evans move to Italy for 3-4 weeks and play what 5 games? The players know there is not going to be a season which is beyond a tragedy!!!! I need the NBA, please end this lock out NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Or they want together paid in the mean time. But either way, either way’s fine.

  • freezy23

    if the lockout ends will the nba’s schedule be revamped or will the remaining games stay as is.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    It will without a doubt change. They may try and keep as many currently scheduled games as possible, but every team will play 3-4 games sometimes 5 every week. Lockout seasons are hard on veterans.

  • BBaller

    @nbk just out of interest do you know what type of pay they are being offered? Surely only a fraction of their nba contracts.

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    “Hoping against hope…such an endearing human trait” – Agent Smith

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    if they start on christmas they can still get in maybe 60 games

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Depends on the guy, but Deron Williams contract is reportedly $5M. (or $6.8M – 1.8 for taxes but the team really takes the expense). I’m pretty positive he has the biggest contract of any American. Most the semi-recognizable NBA guys are probably getting just over a $1M on average. I’m not nearly as up to speed on the contracts as I am with the NBA stuff though.

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    have you guys head of incarcerated bob on twitter? he’s wrong a lot, but he does have good sources and is right a lot too. he’s cracked a ton of stories. a recent one is Joe paterno. he said joepa would be out as coach before the sandusky bomb dropped. anyways, he has sources saying 90% deal done. a little bit after he tweeted it, mark stein tweeted that a lot of insiders are optimisitic too. give him a look…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    College is good for now, but at playoff time, I realle need some ball games.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    CoolWhip with the Matrix quote.
    Priceless.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    They’ve reached an agreement! Needs to be ratified but lockout over!!

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7281052/nba-owners-players-get-tentative-agreement

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Called it.

  • Tommy Guns

    @IncarceratedBob On Twitter broke the NBA lockout story 24 hours before anyone in main stream media had a clue, he was talking with Giants Hall Of Fame LB (Carl Banks) and told him it was almost done than we get word 24 hrs later it was DONE! He broke some NHL news also had the Carmelo Knicks trade with players 14hours before anybody.. Incarcerated Bob is the TRUTH OF RUMORS & GOSSIP!!! Haters gonna hate but Bob now has deals with reputable Websites (Rotinfo.com) pays him big $$$ to post stories / picks etc.. Kid does his thing

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