THE NBA POSTPONED training camps indefinitely and cancelled 43 pre-season games Friday because it has not reached a new labour deal with players.
All games from 9-15 October are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open 3 October.
“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,” Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”
NBA.com’s schedule page, which has a banner across the top listing the number of games on each day, was changed Friday morning to read “0 Games” for each date until 16 October, when there are four games.
Those could be in jeopardy, too, without an agreement by the end of this month or very early October. The league scrapped the remainder of its preseason schedule on 6 October in 1998, when the regular season was reduced to 50 games.
That remains the only time the NBA has lost games to a work stoppage.
The cancellations were inevitable after the latest meeting between owners and players Thursday ended without a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides still hope the entire regular season, scheduled to begin 1 November, can be saved.
The league locked out the players on 1 July after the expiration of the old labour agreement. Owners and players still haven’t agreed on how to divide revenues — players were guaranteed 57% under the previous deal — or the structure of the salary cap.
The next talks aren’t scheduled, but both sides said Thursday they hope to meet again next week. They probably need a deal by the middle of October to avoid canceling real games.
Asked Thursday if he thought things were far enough along to still believe that was possible, Commissioner David Stern said: “I don’t have any response to that. I just don’t. I don’t know the answer.”