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Lockout update: games threatened

By Gordy Stillman

Section: Sports

October 7, 2011

The NBA has canceled all 114 pre-season games, a casualty of the current labor dispute. If a deal is not reached by Monday, Commissioner David Stern has said that the first two weeks of the season may also be canceled. According to Stern, the NBA will lose more than $200 million from the canceled pre-season.

The NBA has not eliminated the possibility of starting the season late and extending it further into the summer but Stern has repeated that starting the season after Nov. 1 will be problematic. Shortened seasons hurt all sides through reduced revenue and diminish the reputation of the sport.

The lockout is already hurting the league’s reputation with the stadiums. According to Stern, buildings are “pressuring us to allow them to book dates” that are currently reserved for NBA games. If the NBA does not cancel games in a timely manner, the stadiums are unable to schedule concerts and other events.

Additionally, many agents urged players last week to take a hard line stance on the splitting of basketball-related income and considering decertification. The NFL Players Association decertified in March during their labor dispute but re-certified and dropped the lawsuit of Brady vs. NFL in order to resolve fully the dispute and certify a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

In the last few days, agents have largely backed off the stance, viewing the time to consider decertification as having passed.

Another issue in the time crunch befoxre games are lost is the Jewish High Holy Day Yom Kippur. Since many involved plan to observe the holiday, Sunday is the only day left before Stern’s threatened deadline.

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