After another day of negotiations resulted in nothing close to a labor deal, Commissioner David Stern canceled the remainder of the NBA preseason tonight, wiping out six games for the Celtics, including home games at TD Garden scheduled for Oct. 21 and Oct. 26.
In addition, Stern said that if a deal is not reached by Monday, he would have no choice but to eliminate the first two weeks of the regular season, a nightmare for the league’s owners and players. No new meetings are scheduled.
The two sides met today at a New York hotel for about four hours and came away with little hope of saving a full regular season. According to Stern, the owners floated the concept of a 50-50 Basketball Related Income (BRI) split, which was soundly rejected by the players. Under the current agreement, the players earn 57 percent of the BRI and they had offered to reduce that number to 53.
Six high-powered agents wrote a letter to players and pleaded for them not to accept anything below 52 and the league’s owners would not budge above 50. In a telling example of the confusion that is surrounding these meetings, players association executive director Billy Hunter said the owners offered 47 percent BRI while Stern said a 50-50 split was suggested.
“They said ‘we can’t do it,'” Stern said. “And we ended the day.”
Stern maintained that the 50-50 split was never officially proposed but he was told by the players association that it wouldn’t be considered. Stern also said the players backed off their previous insistence on a hard salary cap, rollbacks on current salaries and elimination of guaranteed contracts.
The players association, which included Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, appear steadfast on not dipping below its 53 percent offer and until then the league has a major stalemate and fans have no basketball.
HERE ARE THE PRESEASON GAMES CANCELED
Oct. 10 vs. Philadelphia 76ers at Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Providence) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. New York Knicks at Times Union Center (Albany, N.Y.) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 vs. Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre (Toronto) 6 p.m.
Oct. 19 vs. Philadelphia 76ers at Mullins Center (Amherst) 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 vs. Toronto Rapotrs at TD Garden (Boston) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 vs. New York Knicks at XL Center (Hartford, CT) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 vs. New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 vs. New Jersey Nets at TD Garden (Boston) 7:30 p.m.