David Stern murdered an 82-game season late last week when talks broke off between the NBA and NBPA over what is pocket change compared to the gulf that faced them at the start of negotiations. The thought was that meant there would be significant losses in terms of the number of games played to reflect the time lost. But the New York Post, which has been the “it’s just a little airborne, it’s still good, it’s still good!” of scheduling reports lately, chimes in with the idea that if the 82-game season is a goner, it’s just been reduced to… wait for it… a 78-game season. From the Post:
Stern proclaimed officially Friday there is no longer a chance of squeezing in an 82-game schedule with a Dec. 1 starting date. However, multiple sources predict a 78-game slate will be staged if the sides compromise on the revenue split by next weekend. The final schedule has to be an even number, sources said.
“Anything is possible,” one union source said. “If the handshake is a week later, it’s a week less of games.”
As The Post reported earlier this month, the schedule does not pick up where it leaves off on the original document. Several contingency schedules have been compiled by NBA schedule-maker Matt Winick, pending the season’s starting date. The schedule is made from scratch, pending the availability of arenas. Many dates are the same, but opponents have changed. Any lost games for the Knicks would be West Coast opponents, according to sources.
This should hold until next week, when it’ll drop by a handful of games again. Then more. Eventually we’ll get to “NBA still considering five game schedule!”
These reports are good, though, because it leads to the idea that the league is still talking about salvaging things after last week’s breakdowns, just as things were salvaged early last week from the setback the week before.
The wait continues.