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.


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