Saturday, 24 September 2011

NBA Training Camps, Pre-Season Week One cancelled

This was coming. The NBA today cancelled this seasons' summer Training Camps, due to start on October 3rd.
The League Office also announced that all pre-season games from October 9th-15th were cancelled. This came after talks over the currently disputed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) stalled on both Monday and Thursday resulted in glum faces and body language that gave away just how little progress had been made.

There was an optimistic air around New York before talks began on Monday, with some experts and players expressing belief that the owners and the Players' Association were nearer an agreement than before. The signs were promising, as the Players' Association announced that they had climbed down from their previous position of wanting 57% of Basketball-Related Income (BRI) to a slightly more feasible 53%.

The Owners, 12 of whom now appear in Forbes' Rich 400 list, were the ones failing to come to an agreement this week - not with the players, but with each other. Several of the newer owners were at loggerheads with the seasoned pros of team ownership over BRI. Gilbert, owner of the Cavs, along with the various owners in Boston, Pheonix and Washington, are pushing for far harder rules that would vastly benefit the team owners over the players - guaranteeing them profit for the next decade of any new agreement.

The players, almost understandably, balked at this suggestion and a division within the Owners Union seems to be appearing between those who are wanting the owner-weighted agreement and those pulling for a much more even split of revenue between players and owners.

One thing is for certain, the opening games of the 2011-12 season are fully under threat now. There are usually three weeks of Pre-Season warm-up games, and now the first of those three has been consigned to the scrap bin. It would be logical to predict that if, two weeks from now, we are still without a deal, then the first week of Regular Season matches will likely go the same way too. This would be a huge blow to everyone involved in NBA Basketball, as this season was shaping up nicely after 2011's absolute bonanza of storylines and standout performances.

A big fortnight awaits in the tall millionaires vs short billionaires battle. Something will have to give soon, before the game itself is in jeopardy.

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