The NBA Season Won’t Be Starting On Time

Published: October 4, 2011

The most recent news is nothing but disappointing. Despite days of talking, nothing real seems to have been accomplished. I’ll let ESPN tell you the rest.

The progress players and owners had been hoping for to save the 2011-12 NBA season did not materialize in collective bargaining talks on Tuesday, union president Derek Fisher said.

“We engaged in more intense discussions today to see if we can close what remains a very large gap,” Fisher said Tuesday evening.

“Today was not the day to get this done. We were not able to get close enough to close the gap.”

“There has been no discussion about next meetings,” added union executive director Billy Hunter. “Maybe a month. Two months. Your guess is as good as mine.”

The players, who received 57 percent of basketball-related income in the last year of the expired agreement, said they made a new proposal of 53 percent of BRI on Tuesday.

According to the players, the owners countered with 47 percent, a slight increase from the 46 percent they had previously offered.

When the league offered 47 percent, “that pretty much ended (the meeting),” Hunter said.

Owners and players began the bargaining sessions Tuesday afternoon, knowing if they failed to produce results, there may not be enough time left to avoid canceling regular-season games.

So maybe we aren’t going to officially say that we’re going to miss a lot of regular season games, but in the next couple of days we are going to come to the final realization that this is really happening. The NBA (the clowns and the good guys, your choice entirely) is really going to do their best to undo all the progress they have made in recent years.

Call me crazy, but I remember the NBA suffering from a PR problem not too long ago. Beuller? Beuller?

Considering that the nation is struggling financially, this is probably not the best time to have a very public millionaires vs billionaires battle. When games start being missed, that guy who has four seats for his family might decide that it’s just not worth it to work an extra shift at work every week to essentially support a billionaire who pays millionaires to play a game.

For what it’s worth, Media Day was supposed to be yesterday. We’re officially missing training camp now. I’m someone who was primed to fully commit the foreseeable future of my life to covering the NBA, and now I’m sitting here thinking– is there going to be an NBA season? Because if not, New Orleans stands to be the hardest hit. It’s hard to predict what happens if a season is missed, but it’s probably negative.

We need a season here, for real. Otherwise a lot of the amazing work that the Hornets did over the summer gets essentially undone. Sure those people who signed up for the Gold Option when buying season tickets will still be around, but the team is going to have a hell of a time drumming up support around New Orleans if they miss an entire season.

The Hornets have had to rally the troops three times already in their short time in New Orleans (and once in OKC). They did it once when they first came, then after Katrina and now again this past summer.

People around here tend to wet their whistle a little more often than most, but don’t think that our memories aren’t at least semi-functional.


  1. Hornetsworldwide

    October 5, 2011 at 6:27 am

    I agree with Charles Barkely when he says the Players are making a mistake if they think they can wait out the Owners like in 1999. The Owners from the start had drawn a line in the sand, they are prepared to wait out a whole season because they dont have to pay the players and also no gameday expenses, true they will lose ticket sales and sponsorship money. As far as the Hornets situation it will hurt but it shouldnt stop someone from buying the team. Owner costs will be down because no games are been played and surely the new owner will want to vote on the CBA. Anyway they need to get back to the table and work a deal out based on a 50/50 split of the BRI.

  2. Richy

    October 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    The Players are making a BIG MISTAKE full of greed! THE Owners have to make a great profit in order to Operate. The players get paid way too much Money NOW.
    Greed I might never watch the NBA again and I’ve worked for many players.
    It’s a shame.

  3. NolaHog

    October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Grantland has had some great articles about the lockout, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m totally with the players. This recent article highlights just how ridiculous some of the owners’ perception of “losing money” is.

    The high earning middle class players are still an albatross on the league that need to be dealt with, but the owners’ refusal to meet the players halfway on the BRI issue is ridiculous. Owning a basketball team is like owning a ferrari: you dump a lot of money in it, and half the time it’s in the shop, but at the end of the day you still get to say “I own a ferrari.” No one says, “My ferrari isn’t getting good enough gas mileage.” If you’re worried about stuff like that, then you don’t need to own a ferrari (or NBA team).
    Now obviously, this line of thinking isn’t necessarily good for us (Hornets), since we’re a small market team, but I think even Chouest realizes these things. He just didn’t want to get saddled with all of Shinn’s non-basketball debt that the team carried.
    Even though this sounds crazy, and we (the Hornets) stand to lose the most, I hope the players stick to their guns, even if that means that the ENTIRE season is lost. The owners always get their way, and in this current political/economic atmosphere, I want to see somebody stick it to them.

  4. Rocco

    October 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    The back drop to the specter of the NBA lock out is the severe financial crisis facing the globe. The U S is hurting, Europe is about to collapse financially, the Middle East is undergoing unprecendented upheavals country after country, regime after regime, because of economic inequalities. The NBA ( indeed any professional sports offering including any of the major sports) has a very shaky hold our our collective attention span. The good old days of economic growth are gone (at least how we have envisioned them for generations). We have to learn how to survive, let alone prosper. The NBA labor dispute rubs salt in the wounds of the country in general. If games are lost (and surely if the season is cancelled) kiss pro basketball’s relevance to the lives’ of everday fans good bye. People have to eat, pay their bills and know their lives have some stability before they again will place their allegiance to a sports franchise or its players. I love NBA basketball. But I care about the survival of my family, my community a lot more.

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