NBA commissioner David Stern has canceled the first two weeks of the 2011 season as the NBA lockout drags on, he announced late Monday night.
Stern's announcement came with a self-imposed deadline of Monday night before he would cancel the first two weeks. Stern and the league met with the NBA players union for more than seven hours Monday, but no agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement was reached.
The NBA had already canceled training camps and the full slate of preseason games, but cutting into the regular season brings to surface the enormous consequences that Stern spoke of recently.
We remain very, very apart on virtually all issues, Stern told reporters after the meetings concluded in New York. ... We just have a gulf that separates us.
The two sides had met for five hours Sunday before breaking talks. But 12 combined hours in the final two days did not produce a deal. No new labor talks have been scheduled.
We tried very hard, Stern said Monday night. We made concession after concession.
And so, for the second time under Stern's reign as commissioner (27 years), the NBA will see a lockout last into the regular season. The 1998-99 NBA lockout was the third in the league's history. That lockout lasted until Jan. 6 and forced the cancellation of the All-Star Game and the season to be shortened to 50 games. So far, this one has canceled games through Nov. 14.
Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players' union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
This lockout risks the same effects as the last - diminishing popularity of the league at a near-all-time high last season.
Both sides and media personalities weighed in via Twitter throughout the day Monday.
Players used the hashtag #StandUnited, apparently started by union president Derek Fisher. He inspired a litany of other players to offer their opinions along with the hashtag, such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, David West, Stephen Curry, Pau Gasol, DeJuan Blair and Jason Richardson.
Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski wrote that Stern's comments to reporters were Classic Stern.
Framing narrative about all the concessions owners gave -- rollbacks, guaranteed deals, hard cap -- were all owner proposals, Wojnarowski tweeted.
One NBA GM told Wojnarowski that the best case scenario now is 50 games, but I can see the whole season gone.
On Monday, Stern and Silver were present at the meetings, as well as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Daniel Rube, San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and New York Knicks owner James Dolan.
The players were represented by Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers, Union Vice President Maurice Evans of the Washington Wizards, Union Executive Director Billy Hunter and attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner.