As if the first two weeks of the regular season down the drain because of the NBA lockout wasn't enough for fans, the NBA will cancel at least two more weeks of its season, according to the New York Daily News.
With talks broken off since Thursday, and owners and players far apart on major system issues, the cancellations are expected to total at least 102 more games, through Nov. 28. No further talks are in the works.
The league made its first cancellations, totaling 100 games from the Nov. 1 season opener through Nov. 14, on Oct. 10.
Commissioner David Stern had said last week on WFAN that he thought that the league's showcase Christmas Day games would be cancelled if a deal had not been reached by last Tuesday.
Despite the impasse, the Christmas games (which include Knicks-Celtics, Bulls-Lakers and 2011 NBA Finals rematch of Heat-Mavs) and the rest of the NBA season can still be salvaged.
Locked-out NBA players say they want to return to the bargaining table, but that they are not going to accept the owners' precondition of accepting a 50-50 split to be able to resume talks.
I will call them to see if they want to get back together, Billy Hunter said on Bill Simmons' ESPN podcast Monday. But if they still say they'll only meet if I accept their 50-50 (proposal), to me that's a nonstarter. I can't agree to meet if I don't know what is going to happen on the other issues. That is intolerable.
Owners and players have not talked since they left their last round of negotiations dug in on various system issues dealing with a new harder salary cap favored by owners and the preservation of the soft cap favored by players.
According to Commissioner David Stern, it will take a month to put the new collective bargaining agreement in writing, conduct free agency for upwards of 150 players, and run a short training camp and an abbreviated preseason schedule. In the best-case scenario, Stern has said, it might be able to cut the start-up period to 28 days.
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