NEW YORK — The NBA world was waiting on pins and needles to hear whether or not the threat of game cancellations would come to fruition as feared last weekend.
The games still remain on the schedule but a new deadline has been put into place and this one (unlike the phoney David Stern threat from this past weekend) should be taken very seriously.
It was hard to take last weekends threat seriously because the actual threat itself was made during the week, which was still the month of September. This new one comes closer to a realistic date that would make it possible for games to be scratched if a deal isn’t made. That new date is Monday which means the time is now legitimately ticking off the clock for the NBA and the Union to make a deal.
The announcement of the new deadline came after the pwners and players met for four hours today and made little progress.
“Today was not the day to get this done. We were not able to get close enough to close the gap,” said Player President Derek Fischer. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said that the two sides were unable to make the necessary progress to continue the negotiations.
The scariest fact is that no new meeting dates have been set between now and Monday’s deadline.
The constant deal breaker remains the dispute between Basketball Related Income (BRI) and how much the players get of it. Under the previous agreement the players were receiving 57 percent. The owners want that number down in the mid 40s range and the players remain adamant on their stance of staying in the low to mid 50s. The players have brought their percentage down to 53 but the owners still want it lower.
When the league offered 47 percent, “that pretty much ended the meeting,” said Union director Billy Hunter.
David Stern and Adam Silver have said that a 50-50 split has been discussed but failed to elaborate on why that plan can’t happen. They did mention that the NBA is taking a $200 million hit by cancelling the preseason and the fear of how high that number will soar to when regular season games get cancelled is scaring a lot in the basketball community.
If the regular season gets cancelled in any form, the first games to go will be impressive, nationally televised games featuring many of the NBA’s hottest commodities like the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and the defending Champions, the Dallas Mavericks.
These games will not only result in lost ticket sales (which would be sold out games), but the television rights for those carrying the games as well as the advertising takes a hit. The lockout is now getting to a point where it is oiling over into other aspects other than just the players and owners.
With the new and solidified Monday deadline now set in stone, it is clear the eleventh hour is now upon the NBA and the scenario of games getting cancelled is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when and how many.