More NBA games, paychecks at serious risk

More NBA games, paychecks at serious risk
October 24, 2011, 10:31 pm
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NBA players have said from the outset of this lockout that they were prepared to miss paychecks.

Well, we're about to find out.

NBA commissioner David Stern is expected to announce more cancellations as early as Tuesday, which will directly result in most NBA players missing out on what's usually their first paycheck of the season.

Players usually get paid on the 15th and 30th of every month during the season, beginning in November and ending in May. Others have their pay spread out over the course of a year, beginning from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31.

Stern has said in the past that it would take about a month after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon with the union, for actual games to be played.

He has already canceled the first two weeks of the season (Nov. 1-14), with the remainder of games in November expected to be wiped out soon. The next round of cancellations come on the heels of the owners and players breaking off talks following a three-day stretch - and more than 30 hours of negotiations - last week in New York City.

"Ultimately, we were unable to bridge the gap that separates the two parties," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said shortly after talks ended.

Figuring out how to divide the basketball-related income as well as systematic changes to the salary cap remain two of the biggest issues keeping both sides from reaching a new CBA.

A league source said both sides are likely to return to the bargaining table later this week, although its unclear if the next round of talks will include George Cohen, who served as a mediator between the two sides last week.

Whenever they do return to the bargaining table, the tone of those talks is sure to have a greater sense of urgency for both players and owners. Players for the most part have been the focus when talking about folks losing money during the lockout. But the owners are the ones who cut the checks to the players, so they, too, are taking a hit financially because of the lockout.

"The costs are getting more expensive for all sides," said Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs in addition to being Chair of the NBA's Labor Relations Committee. "More and more every day, going up."

But the deeper both sides dig into their respective positions on all matters, the clearer it becomes that both sides are fighting for more than money. As much as both want to get paid in the new CBA, it's becoming more and more about principle for both sides.

"We have certain core beliefs that we have to address that we think are absolutely necessary to achieve, before we continue to play NBA basketball," Silver said.

And that, unfortunately, is one of the few things where the players and owners are in agreement.

"We've been extremely reasonable," Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBAPA, told the B.S. Report. "We're prepared to be reasonable. We just don't want to be totally exploited."