The NBA and its players’ union were unable to reach an agreement on Thursday, but the league did present a proposal that could result in a 72-game season that starts on Dec. 15 – or no season at all. NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that the league would push back the regular season by “roughly a week” and the NBA Finals by a week.
Teams would be forced to play 3.94 games per week, which is slightly more than the 3.89 games they had to fit in 1999, when the All-Star Game was canceled.
An 82-game schedule is usually completed in 166 days – or 3.46 games per week – and has each team playing four games against division foes, three or four games against the other 10 teams in the conference and 30 games against the opposing conference. A 72-game schedule would mean three games against the 14 teams in the conference and 30 games against the other conference.
There will assuredly be plenty of back-to-backs and some back-to-back-to-back games for each team, especially because the league would have to work according to the availability of the arenas. But the offer of a 72-game schedule is clearly in place to help the players and owners recoup some of the revenue from games that have already been lost because of the 134-day lockout.
With the league wiping out the first month of the regular season, the Wizards were set to lose 14 games, with the players to miss out on about $7.42 million.
The National Basketball Players’ Association likely has until Wednesday to accept the offer, because Commissioner David Stern said it would take at least a month for the league to get the deal drawn up and approved by the board of the governors, conduct free agency, hold training camps and have a mini-preseason.