Billy Hunter: NBA Might Cancel Games Through Christmas

by November 09, 2011

After the players emerged from their meeting yesterday, saying they found the owners’ latest proposal totally unacceptable, union Executive Director Billy Hunter told the assembled press corps that he’s been hearing of more NBA games being on the chopping block, if a deal isn’t agreed to this week. From Yahoo! Sports: “The Players Association offered to drop its revenue split to 51 percent on Saturday. Hunter surprised some in Saturday’s mediation session when he suggested the players might be willing to drop to a 50-50 split, even when they had just stated their position as 51, sources in the room told Y! Sports. One of the union’s lawyers quickly corrected Hunter, saying he meant to say a 51-49 split, but officials on both sides believed Hunter meant what he said: 50-50. All along, the belief has been the players would eventually accept the 50-50 split if they could get satisfactory resolutions on the system issues that would protect middle-class salaries and not stifle player movement, especially to the big-spending, big-market teams who are typically over the salary cap. And after Tuesday’s meeting, the union indicated it’s willing to take a 50-50 split if the owners modify some of their system requests. Hunter said he’s heard from ‘underground’ sources the NBA might can cancel games through Christmas if a deal isn’t reached Wednesday, but Stern disputed that claim. ‘I don’t know under what ground he’s looking,’ Stern said on NBA TV. ‘We’ve made no such plans. We need 30 days to start the season from the time we make the agreement.'”