Well, what seemed inevitable is now official. The NBA season is going to be less than 82 games for its teams this season because owners continue to lock out players without a new CBA.
The league announced tonight that all games through Nov. 14 are canceled–that means wiped away, not postponed as earlier reports speculated might happen before today’s seven-hour negotiation session. For the Hawks, the decision tosses aside games at Minnesota, vs. Boston, at Chicago, vs. New York, vs. Utah and at Orlando.
The new tentative season-opener is now Nov. 16 vs. Indiana at Philips. Season-ticket owners will get refunds with interest for the canceled games, including exhibitions. Alex Meruelo still is awaiting league approval of his purchase of the team from ASG, though he’s already made several trips to Atlanta and is up to speed on team matters.
Why did the league cancel two weeks instead of one? Think it has anything to do with players getting paid every other week during the season and owners wanting to make sure they missed a check? Now we’ll see if the players can maintain solidarity even as they lose money.
As for the issues in contention, including BRI and salary-cap structure, David Aldridge provided a thorough breakdown. David Stern told reporters in New York tonight that “system issues” like contract lengths and annual raises are bigger problems than the BRI split (and Aldridge reports the latter issues is now back to square one).
Looking at it from the outside, it seems to me the NBA is trying to do what every other business in America is doing nowadays: minimize its risks, subsidize its losses and privatize its profits. The players seem to accept that this CBA will not be as good as the last one but they are trying to preserve as much of that system as possible.
Sadly and frustratingly, it sounds like we could be in for a long wait for NBA basketball.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat