NBA cancels remaining November games
Talks to end the NBA lockout Friday failed again to generate an agreement, and the league will cancel the rest of November's regular season games, basketball officials said.
[update at 3:30 p.m.: NBA Commissioner David Stern has officially canceled the rest of November's games]
[update at 3:40 p.m.: Stern said Friday's talks ended when players union Executive Director Billy Hunter said he was not willing to go "one penny" below taking 52% of basketball-related income (BRI) with the league asking players to accept a 50-50 split. The players last season earned 57% of BRI, or $2.17 billion.
"He [Hunter] closed up his book and walked out of the room," Stern said.
The commissioner added it's "not practical, possible or prudent to have a full NBA season under any circumstances. I say that with apologies to the muncipalities" that have NBA franchises.]
"We made a lot of concessions, but this time, unfortunately, it's not enough," Hunter told reporters after a five-hour-plus meeting with NBA leaders in New York.
Hunter said the NBA wanted the players to move to 50% while accepting concessions on the salary cap/luxury tax arrangement that the union deemed prohibitive.
[update at 3:40 p.m.: Stern said he pitched a more favorable arrangement for mid-level exception players and sign-and-trade deals for teams -- like the Lakers -- that would pay a luxury tax for exceeding the league's tightened salary cap.
"We made a fair number of concessions," Stern said, noting that he was willing to extend by one year contracts length to five and four years for teams that would sign their own and other teams' free agents, respectively.]
"We did what [Stern] said [he] needed, and it was like their eyes got bigger," union President Derek Fisher of the Lakers said. "They just wanted more and more."
[update at 3:40 p.m.: Stern would not promise a 50% BRI offer in the next negotations after calculating an estimated $200 million in losses by canceling the preseason and all of the regular season games in November. "The next offer will include extraordinary losses," Stern said. "Both sides are very, very damaged. The amount of dollars lost ... is extraordinary.
"You can make computations [about] who's going to make it back. I know the owners will make it back. I'm not sure the players will."]
When talks will resume is uncertain. Fisher told reporters Friday he's boarding a flight home to Los Angeles.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Billy Hunter. Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images.