So much for a deal by the end of this weekend.
Instead David Stern announced the cancellation of the rest of the November slate on Friday after the players and owners failed to bridge the gap on the pesky BRI issue that has plagued these negotiations from the start. This cancellation eliminates any chance of a full 82-game season in 2011-12.
“We held out that joint hope together, but in light of the breakdown of talks, there will not be a full NBA season under any circumstances,” Stern said.
“It’s not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now.”
The Suns have now lost 15 games, including home contests against the Knicks and Bulls. Their theoretical first game would now be their Dec. 2 matchup at San Antonio followed by a Dec. 3 home opener against the world champion Mavericks, but it’s more likely the league will lose more games or draw up a new schedule.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski describes the current situation as such:
“Owners believed the players were prepared to take a 50-50 split on BRI if the system issues were agreed upon. Privately, league sources said most of the luxury tax and exception issues were resolved and the players wouldn’t move off the 52.5 percentage to which they had dropped. There were still issues with tax-paying teams being allowed to use the midlevel exception, but owners thought there was still a compromise to make. Nevertheless, league negotiators privately said they went back to the bargaining table with the union, only because they believed that to be true.”
Meanwhile, Thursday’s jovial David Stern is now once again making threats that the owerns’ offers will only get stingier from here, saying the next offer will reflect the “extraordinary losses … piling up.”
According to reports, the league is insistent on a 50-50 split of revenue while the players walked out rather than discussing going below a 52-48 split.
“Derek (Fisher) and I made it clear that we could not take the 50-50 deal to our membership. Not with all the concessions that we granted,” Hunter said. “We said we got to have some dollars.”
Suns player rep Jared Dudley added on Twitter that “at the end of the day players will not accept 50/50 BRI for every percentage point it worth hundreds of millions..We came down from 57 to 52.”
Big picture the cancellations in themselves aren’t a big deal because schedule-wise it was already unlikely the league would start any earlier than the very last few days of November anyway. The disappointing part is that even though the sides made good progress on systems issues until one of the sides (or both) move on BRI it will be all for naught.
Meanwhile, our ValleyoftheSuns ticket/T-shirt giveaway contest saw an interesting first day. For the uninitiated we are giving away a ValleyoftheSuns T-shirt and two tickets to the Suns’ next regular season home game to the person who can guess when that next home game will be. Vote now on our Facebook page.
In the early going the guesses all came in around late November and early December but now we’ve gotten a few entries that predict that the entire season will be washed away. I look forward to seeing how these predictions will change as the news cycle veers positive and negative in the future.