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NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of Season, More Looming

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Monday night on the streets of New York City, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the NBA season. This included all 100 games scheduled to be played through November 14 which will cost players $160 million in salary. Stern added that further cancellations will come in two-week increments.

After cancelling the rest of the preseason games, last Tuesday Stern set a deadline of Monday before he started cancelling regular season games. At that point all of the rhetoric coming out of both sides was that the sticking point was how to divide the basketball-related income (BRI). The players negotiated down from the 57 percent they made under the previous collective bargaining agreement to 53 percent while the owners went from their initial offer of 46 percent to 47 percent. Stern had intimated that there were talks of a 50-50 split although no formal offer was made.

After a week of posturing, the players and owners finally huddled together for over five hours in a New York City hotel room Sunday evening that spilled over for seven hours on Monday afternoon hoping to avert any cancellation to the regular season. All for naught.

"Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players' union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release.

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Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported on Twitter that Silver said that what separated the two sides was not the economics of the deal. It was system issues such as the salary cap, mid-level exemptions, free agency eligibility and other minutiae. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported player association president and Lakers’ guard Derek Fisher confirming this line.

That makes it odd the early afternoon report by TNT’s David Aldridge on NBA.com that the two sides were near a deal on mid-level player salaries. All of the optimism this ushered had the reporters thinking that there was a possibility of a mere postponing of games and keeping the 82-game season intact if the two sides were close enough.

But no. And as each day goes by the chances of a season slip further and further away.

Things aren’t looking good if we judge by the tweets of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

According to Howard Beck of the
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New York Times, there are no more meetings scheduled.

As dour as the news was, here is some good news: refunds plus interest is available to all season ticket holders for all cancelled preseason and regular season games. Um, yay?