NBA faces more cancellations after failed meetings

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NBA faces more cancellations after failed meetings

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
After weeks of conjecture and back-and-fourth proposals, the NBA owners and players union are now on the verge of missing games that truly matter.

Following yet another marathon-like bargaining session on Tuesday which ended without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league has cancelled the entire 114-game preseason schedule.

NBA commissioner David Stern said the league is looking at a "200 millionloss, or close to it, in revenue" by canceling the entire preseason.

It also means lost wages for players as well.

"Today was not the day for us to get this done," said union president Derek Fisher. "We were not able to get close enough to close the gap."

And the regular season?

With no future meetings scheduled - the union's executive director, Billy Hunter, said it could be another month, maybe two, before the sides meet again - all signs point toward the NBA season not starting on time.

Stern said the first two weeks of the regular season will be axed if the framework for a new CBA isn't agreed upon by Monday.

"We'd like not to lose the first two weeks of the season," Stern said. "But it doesn't look good."

Fisher added, "We're faced with a lockout that may jeopardize a portion or all of our season. We've prepared for this day."

The two sides have a number of issues still to work through, but the divvying up of the league's Basketball-Related Income is at or near the top of that list.

BRI consists of a number of things such as ticket sales, parking, revenue from concessions and maybe most significant, television contracts.

In the old CBA, players received 57 percent of the BRI and have shown a willingness to go as low as 53 percent.

Each percentage point is worth approximately 40 million, so the players willing to reduce their BRI take by four percentage points amounts to about 160 million savings for the league. Stretched out over six years, that would amount to a savings of nearly 1 billion.

Meanwhile, the best official offer from owners has been players taking home 47 percent of the BRI.

Stern said a proposal was made to a small group from the union that would have been a 5050 split of the BRI, a proposal that did not include additional expenditures that would have lowered the BRI percentage for the players.

"We were advised by the players that that would not be acceptable to them," said Stern, adding that what was discussed was not an offer. "That they were at a higher number. At that point, it didn't seem to make a lot of sense to continue today by either side."

For most of the three-plus months since the lockout began July 1, it appeared as though the owners were reluctant to work towards a compromise which is at the heart of any deal.

However, they have since taken the desire for a hard salary cap off the table. In addition, owners are willing to keep contracts guaranteed and will not seek any rollbacks on existing contracts. The owners also proposed a 10-year pact that would allow the players to opt out of the deal after seven years.

"As we said, our indication to go to a 50-50 deal demonstrates even more potential movement on our part," said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. "So we haven't made a secret of the fact that we'd very much like to make a deal."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

BOSTON – There was a point in the fourth quarter when Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins was fouled trying to score which brought about an automatic, intense and angry scowl from the all-star center. 

He raised his hand as he were going to strike back at the potential assailant. 

And then he saw the man was Jae Crowder. 

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Cousins, who had a game-high 28 points, then went to the free throw line, incident-free. 

“I’m not one those other cats he be punking,” said Crowder with a grin.

That moment was one of many throughout Friday night’s game when Crowder made his presence felt when the game mattered most, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with whoever stood between him and helping the Celtics win – even Cousins. 

But as Crowder explained following Boston’s 97-92 win, that moment was about two physical players who have developed an on-the-floor rapport that speaks to their intensity and desire to win at all costs. 

“He’s going to bring the game to you; his physicality,” said Crowder who had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. “He’s a very physical type of guy. If he senses you’re not physical at all, he’ll let you know. He’s a dog down there; he’s a bull. I love to go against a player like that. He’s going to give you his best shot each and every night. You either step up to the test or you get run over.” 

As soon as the two made eye contact, Crowder knew it was one of the many intimidation methods used by Cousins against opposing players. 

Crowder wasn’t having it. 

“That’s my guy; he’s my guy,” Crowder said of Cousins. “He plays a lot of tactics against a lot of other players. I’ve earned that respect with him. He knows I’m going to fight him just as hard as anybody else. We leave it on the court. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve become friends, just playing ball, playing basketball the right way.”