You want to know why more and more I’ve become convinced that NBA games will be lost (and I didn’t want to admit that)?
Simple: You’re not going to get a deal until there is a sense of urgency to get a deal done. Now, read these two paragraphs from Alan Hahn at Newsday and tell me if you feel any sense of urgency:
The sides haven’t met since Aug. 2 in New York and (NBA Commissioner David) Stern accused the union of cancelling a meeting last week. The union responded that executive director Billy Hunter was told Stern would not be available for the next two weeks. A union official told me the word was that Stern was taking vacation, but an NBA spokesman said Stern was in his office on Monday and even if he did have a vacation scheduled, he could easily return for a collective bargaining session.
At this point, the union will host an executive meeting in New York at the end of August. The anticipation is the union and league will sit down again in early September, perhaps before the Labor Day timeline that Stern set.
Labor Day is a false deadline, really. But not all that much later there will be preseason games that need to be cancelled. It’s not until late September or early October that regular season games are threatened. That is the real deadline.
Not that either side has any urgency to meet it.