Start of NBA season believed at stake in weekend talks
Miami Heat star LeBron James arrives at NBA labor talks in New York on Friday.
September 30th, 2011
05:38 PM ET

Start of NBA season believed at stake in weekend talks

NBA fans might know by the end of the weekend if the regular season will start on time November 1, with team owners and locked-out players gathering in New York for crucial talks aimed at a new labor deal.

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver told reporters this week that the league is “getting very close” to having to delay the regular season if significant progress isn’t made in this weekend’s talks, which began Friday.

Commissioner David Stern may have gone further, warning Wednesday of “enormous consequences” if progress isn’t made.

“Then it won’t be a question of just starting the season on time, it will be a lot at risk from the absence of progress,” he said.

The owners’ labor relations committee and a players’ committee – joined by some stars who aren’t on the players’ panel, such as LeBron James - were meeting Friday, and could meet Saturday and Sunday, according to NBA.com.

Team owners have locked out their players since July, when the last collective bargaining agreement – a contract between the teams and the players union which outlines the rules of the players’ pay – expired. One key issue has been the owners’ demand for a hard salary cap, driven in part by claims that 22 of 30 teams lost money last season.

SI.com: One group of owners holds key to ending lockout

The lack of a deal prompted the league to postpone training camps that were supposed to start next week, and cancel 43 preseason games that were supposed to be played October 9-15.

NBA.com writer Steve Aschburner has noted that regular season games wouldn’t happen immediately after a handshake agreement. The deal would need to be ratified, and a free-agency period would need to be squeezed in, not to mention preseason games.

Asked on Wednesday whether the league could start a season without preseason games, Stern said he wouldn’t “deal with hypotheticals.”

“I’m focused on (getting) the two committees in and … whether they can either have a season or not have a season. And that’s what’s at risk this weekend,” Stern said.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. jordan scene©

    This type of nonsense sounds all too familiar...

    September 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ivory

    No season, the NBA contracts and becomes a 27or fewer teams. The NBA agents can push for decertification, then the owners can tear up all the contracts and start over. The new smaller League may be able to get some games going by January, maybe not.

    The players are taking millions in salary per their contracts, and then millions more in "revenue sharing", but the players are taking no financial risks under the current financial arrangement, amking no investments in the League or system, or real estate or staffing...... and now they are putting their livlihood at risk......but then nobody ever said they were the brightest bulbs in the arena chandlier.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pasofino

      You're wrong. "Revenue sharing" goes both ways. If the actual league revenue numbers are less than the numbers the salary caps were calculated on, the players as a group must pay back the difference. My understanding is that has never happened, although the mechanism was in place for this last year and the players were warned by their union, in light of the economy, that it might happen. In other words the league income has always met or exceeded the projections. When an owner goes beyond the salary cap, a purely voluntary act, only that portion of the salary within the cap is considered against the overall percentage for revenue sharing purposes and only that portion of the salary is subject to reimbursement under "revenue sharing". Each year the cap limits are tentatively set based upon estimated revenues.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. don't watch basketball

    Yaaaaawn, who cares.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Well you obviously cared enough to read the article.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jack

    Darn, and I just bought the cutest little chearleading outfit and pompoms.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Realist

    Don't really care to support these bad mannered and overpaid primadonna's. Let quit altogether. Especially LeFlop

    September 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Larry Bird

    Does anyone even watch the NBA anymore? If the NCAA Men's Basketball season was in jeopardy, then I might be concerned.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. George

    I don't care anymore. The PLAYERS and the owners are way too greedy. When they demand all this money, the fans are the one paying for it in the end. Enough already. Throw the whole season. Who cares anymore. Hurt their pockets and let them see how it feels!

    September 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mt

    Who cares...........................

    September 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    I could care less. The Pistons are garbage now anyways.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matt Damon

    Is basketball still a sport?

    September 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. clnee55

    If the talks don't work, black unemployment rate will rise even more

    September 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. infonomics

    I 've always wanted to watch an NBA game but I just don't think I can make through all nine innings.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dot8

    Another greedy start by another professional sport.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jumbofret

    they should discuss cap for greed than salary!

    September 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dale

    We don't have a 9.1 unemployment rate, we a have e 9.1 % on strike rate.. It's just no one care about 9.1 % unemployed because they are not spoiled rotten greedy millionaires.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
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