The unfortunate news has finally been confirmed. The ongoing labor dispute, between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players' Association (NBPA), which cost fans and the franchises the training season and 43 preseason games last month, has started casting its shadow over the regular season.
On Monday, NBA Commissioner, David Stern, after failing to reach an agreement with the NBPA scrapped the first two weeks of the regular season off the NBA calendar.
We remain, really, very, very far apart on virtually all issues, said Stern after the meeting, adding, Every day goes by, we look at further reductions in what's left of the season.
This is not where we choose to be. We're not at a place where a fair deal can be reached with the NBA, said NBPA President, Derek Fisher, after the failure of the seven-hour long negotiation session.
Both sides are disappointed with the results but are very stern on their stands. No further meetings have been scheduled.
This is the fourth lockout in the history of the NBA. In the biggest lockout, back in 1998-99, the NBA had to reduce its whole season to just 50 games and cancel the season's All-Star Game.
Over the canceled two weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers will lose eight games, including the Nov. 1 opener at the Staples Center, against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Los Angeles Clippers will lose seven games and the Boston Celtics will lose six. Season-ticket holders, however, will be refunded, with interest, for all canceled games.
The NBPA had anticipated the lockout for years and had warned players to save their money.
I think it goes back to a comment that David made to me several years ago when he said, 'Look, 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 (this) indicated to me that they're willing to do it, said Billy Hunter, the NBPA Executive Director.
The sides are at an impasse over how to divide basketball-related income (BRI). Players earned 57 per cent of BRI (about $2.15 billion) last season but owners are effectively asking players to accept 47 per cent. The players have offered to accept 53 per cent, the Los Angeles Times quoted Fisher as saying.
Fisher, who plays guard for the Lakers, is planning to meet his fellow-professionals on Thursday, at Los Angeles.