|Posted on October 10, 2011 at 11:15 PM|
The joke is on us. All the talk about the lockout ending today was fools gold,and I feel cheated,but I'm sure the players feel even more cheated it's their money.For selfish reasons today I was going for an end of the lockout at any cost. I have come to the conclusion that we won't see basketball until January,or maybe not at all.
NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the season Monday, warning players and fans that the cuts may have only just begun."With every day that goes by, I think we need to look at further reductions in what's left of the season," said Stern, who doubts a full 82-game season can be played.
Saying he was sad and sorry, Stern erased the season's first two weeks after players and owners were unable to reach a new labor deal to end the lockout. The cancellations mark the NBA's first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games.
"The gap is so significant that we just can't bridge it at this time," Stern said. "We certainly hoped it would never come to this."
Union president Derek Fisher agreed, emphasizing that missing any games puts the season in jeopardy.
"This is not where we choose to be," he said. "We're not at a place where a fair deal can be reached with the NBA."
With just three weeks remaining before the start of the season, top negotiators for both sides met for more than seven hours Monday but were unable to reach an agreement. The two sides expect to remain in contact, but no additional formal talks have been scheduled.
Stern said both sides are "very far apart on virtually all issues. ... We just have a gulf that separates us."
Opening night was scheduled for Nov. 1, and the cancellation includes all games scheduled to be played through Nov. 14. Affected arenas have been authorized to release those dates.
An ESPN spokesman said the network "has a contingency plan consisting mostly of college football and basketball" to replace locked-out NBA games.
With another work stoppage, the NBA risks alienating a fan base that sent the league's revenues and TV ratings soaring during the 2010-11 season. And the cost of cancellations would be staggering. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the league would lose hundreds of millions of dollars, while union executive director Billy Hunter estimated players' losses at $350 million for each month they were locked out.