NBA Set to Cancel Games

Barring a last-minute deal before Monday
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2011 8:10 AM CDT
Derek Fisher, center, president of the NBA players union, is joined by other NBA players and union executive director Billy Hunter during a news conference, Sept. 15, 2011, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(Newser) – The rest of the NBA preseason is officially canceled, and the first two weeks of the regular season will be as well if players and owners can’t work out a deal by Monday, Commissioner David Stern announced yesterday, after negotiations to end the league’s lockout fell apart. Players' union president Derek Fisher said there was a “very large gap” between them, with the main sticking point being revenue sharing. The players, who currently earn 57% of revenues, are willing to take a cut to 53%, but the owners want more, the Wall Street Journal explains.

The owners, who had been demanding that players take 47%, yesterday offered a 50-50 split, but the players balked. “Our guys have indicated a willingness to lose games,” union chief Billy Hunter said. “It may be a month, it may be two months—your guess is as good as ours.” Should NBA fans panic? Bill Plaschke of the LA Times isn’t, reasoning that only die-hard fans pay attention before February anyway. “The league might be missing games, but we’re not,” he quips.

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