NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled an additional two weeks of the season on Friday after the league and its players’ union were unable to resolve their labor dispute and come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The league had already eliminated the first two weeks, wiping out 100 games though Nov. 14, and the next round will take away 112 games through Nov. 30.
The Wizards would lose nine more games, bringing their total to 14. They will miss out on the first West Coast trip of the season, which included games against the Los Angeles Lakers (Nov. 15), Sacramento (Nov. 16), Golden State (Nov. 18) and Denver (Nov. 19). They will also lose home games against Boston (Nov. 22), Minnesota (Nov. 26) and Cleveland (Nov. 30) and two other road games, against Detroit (Nov. 25) and New York (Nov. 28).
With the league now wiping out most of the first month of the season, the Wizards would miss two paychecks – or about $7.42 million. All NBA players would miss out on an estimated $400 million.
Players have been locked out since July 1 and no talks have been scheduled since negotiations again broke down when both sides failed to figure out how to divide revenues.
The players’ union received 57 percent of basketball-related income in the previous collective barganing agreement, but has been willing to go down to 52 percent. Owners are seeking a 50-50 split, a number that has resulted in three bargaining breakdowns in the past month.
“I’m just reflecting the calendar,” Stern said. “I mean, there’s just — you need 30 days to play, and so the last two weeks of November are gone. It’s already getting to be November 1. The calendar takes care of our games. These are not punitive announcements, these are calendar-generated announcements.
“We had quite openly discussed with the players that if we could make the deal, we could get the season in,” he said. “And we knew that if we had been able to make a deal, in the first year of the deal, the amount — because we had already agreed with the players that their current contracts would be paid, the amount being paid to them would be far in excess of 50 percent.”
Schedules would likely have to be scrapped and done over, if the two sides are able to reach an agreement that could salvage the season.