Tomorrow could be black Friday for the NBA.
After a lengthy but apparently fruitless negotiating session on Thursday the NBA is set to announce the postponement of training camps and cancellation of the first two weeks of preseason games on Friday. According to a Yahoo report there is going to be a conference call with owners to approve the move, followed by the formal announcement. Players at the Impact Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas confirmed they were told this was coming.
Camps were set to open Oct. 3, the first preseason games were Oct. 9.
This isn’t a huge surprise, everyone knew the day was coming soon. The two sides need to reach at least a handshake agreement in the next week for there to be a chance for camps to open on time. After Thursday’s meeting the two sides did not plan to meet again until next week. They remain miles apart, ESPN’s Ric Bucher reports.
Stern, according to one source, told Hunter in Thursday’s meeting the owners want to reduce the players’ cut of basketball-related revenue (BRI) to a figure well below 50 percent. The players were guaranteed a minimum of 57 percent of BRI would be spent on salaries at the end of the last agreement.
That’s not even getting into hard salary cap vs. soft cap issues.
The regular season is scheduled to open Nov. 1, but that appears in jeopardy. While the preseason and free agent period could be cut shorter, in 1998 (the last lockout that cost games) it took them a month to get up and running.
You can do the math from there. It’s not pretty.