David Stern didn’t cancel the entire season Tuesday, but the way it looks he might as well have. A day after NBA players decided to take their fight against the NBA owners in court, the league struck back by canceling another two weeks of games, from Dec. 1-15.
The cancellation of 106 more regular-season games came on the 138th day of the lockout and on the heels of the players announcing that they will dissolve their union and file an antitrust suit against the owners.
As they made their move to the courts, players rejected the owners’ proposal which would have started a 72-game season on Dec. 15. With the players’ decision to try to gain leverage in the courts and force the owners back to the negotiating table, Stern blamed the NBA Players Association for putting the entire season in jeopardy.
“We’re about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA and it’s very sad,'' Stern said on Monday.
After a four-hour meeting on Monday in Manhattan, players fully expected the cancellations. They now are assured of missing their first three paychecks, starting with the first checks they normally would have received on Tuesday November 15th.
Unless the two sides meet within the next 10 days to strike a deal, as of now - the league’s traditional Christmas games will be included in the next set of cancellations. The league needs about 30 days from the time a deal is labor struck to get back to full operations and start play.