October 25, 2011
We've spent the last few weeks, if not months, parroting what tuned-in types like Adrian Wojnarowski have been saying all along. The NBA never wanted to play basketball in November. To hear their numbers tell the story, you can't blame them. To hear the frustrations of the workers that depend on 15 NBA games per team between later this week and the first of December? You can totally blame those owners. The NBA has cost thousands of North American workers a month's paycheck. Never forget that. Do not forget that. The players, misguided though they clearly are, want to play. The NBA and its owners want to strike.
So it comes as mild as surprises come as we hear from the New York Daily News that the NBA is set to cancel the second two weeks of the 2011-12 season on Tuesday. Knock us over with a feather. Cancel about half the holiday gifts and plans that NBA workers had once banked on, heading into December. Enjoy your steak and terrible cheeseburger on a yacht (Twitter post since deleted), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison.
Here's the NYDN, by way of Frank Isola and Mitch Lawrence:
With talks broken off between the owners and players, and the two sides far apart on major "system" issues, the cancellations are expected to total at least 102 more games, through Nov. 28. No further talks are in the works.
The league made its first cancellations, totalling 100 games and running from the Nov. 1 season opener through Nov. 14, on Oct. 10. Commissioner David Stern had said last week on WFAN that he thought that the league's showcase Christmas Day games would be cancelled if a deal had not been reached by last Tuesday.
At this point, like a lot of you, I'm not much of a fan anymore. I honestly am in no mood to see Kevin Durant(notes) and the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Heat or the Bulls or the Lakers or anyone else should they somehow get together next week. That's not me being dyspeptic to prove a point, or to act diffident, or to play it cool. We're over four months removed from the last televised live NBA game -- and you know what? (Forget) the NBA.
These owners have never bargained in good faith, they've watered down the league with expansion and a massive season and they're asking workers in 29 NBA cities (with 30 NBA teams) to bear the brunt of expectation following an average of $350 million buy-into price tags, $60 million payrolls, and 82 games. These owners have made their millions elsewhere, not one of them runs an NBA team to put food on their respective dinner tables, and yet they've taken their own miscalculations out on those who do depend on this league, and its November games, to put food on the table.
These are miserable, miserable people. React accordingly, fans.