For a couple days now, we’ve been waiting for the NBA to officially wipe out games through the end of November. There were even reports that the ax would drop Tuesday.
Now, as it moves past 5 p.m. Tuesday in New York (where the NBA offices are located), no games have been called off yet.
Which means … nothing. Not one thing.
The official announcement will come when it best suits the league’s negotiating tactics. Not before, not after.
But it will come. Know that right now all the games in November are toast. It’s going to take roughly 30 days from the time the owners and players get their act together and solve this labor dispute to when games start. It’s Oct. 25 and there are no formal meeting scheduled. There will be no deal before Halloween, which means no games before Dec. 1. Christmas Day games are not yet toast, but they are being brought to the gallows soon enough.
The big sticking point in talks remains the owners’ demand for a 50/50 split of basketball-related income — the players got 57 percent in the old deal and have offered to lower it to 52.5 percent now. That is a $180 million give back for next season. The owners want not only a larger slice of that pie but also to put in a new, harsher luxury tax to limit big-spending teams as well as reductions of contract lengths and other steps that help them get out of bad deals. The players have given in some on the percentage of income, trying to get the owners to give on the tax, but the owners remain steadfast that they need both. Basically, they aren’t negotiating, the owners are going for the massive, 50-point win and will not call off the full-court press.
Meanwhile, it’s the fans and the game that lose.