NBA to delay start of preseason
NEW YORK – After failing to make progress in collective bargaining talks with the Players Association, NBA commissioner David Stern formally canceled the first two weeks of training camp and exhibition games in October on Friday.
Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver met with union executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher(notes) on Thursday in Manhattan. Afterward, the two sides revealed little publicly about the nature of the talks, but one source briefed on the meeting said “both sides dug in,” suggesting there wasn’t much movement from either the league or the union.
“No announcement to make today,” Stern said after the meeting, “but the calendar is not our friend.”
A league source told Y! Sports on Wednesday that the league was prepared to announce the delay of the preseason by the end of the week if no progress was made in Thursday’s meeting. Silver said the sides hope to meet again next week.
The NBA’s training camps were expected to open Oct. 3. The league canceled a total of 43 exhibition games scheduled between Oct. 9-15. The league will re-evaluate the final two weeks of the preseason on Oct. 1, a source told Yahoo! Sports. The scheduled Nov. 1 start to the regular season also is in danger of being postponed.
[Related: NBA agents gearing up for possible battle]
“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”
Once a new labor agreement is reached, it is still expected to take two or three weeks for the lawyers to iron out the details and produce a legal document for the two sides to sign. There is expected to be no free-agent signings, trades or other deals until the agreement is signed.
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