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NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of 2011-2012 Season; Remainder In Doubt

by Photo of Moke Hamilton

With No New CBA, the NBA Has Canceled Games

NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of 2011-2012 Season; Remainder In Doubt

On July 1, the NBA announced that it would lock out its players until a new collective bargaining agreement could be negotiated with the league's players' union.

Then, on September 23, after failing to make substantial progress toward a new CBA, the league canceled all 43 preseason games scheduled between October 9 and October 15.

Once October 4 came and went, David Stern and co. were left with no choice but to cancel the remainder of the NBA's 2011 Preseason.

And On October 10—The 102nd day of the 2011 NBA Lockout—the league made the announcement that many thought it never would, as the NBA announced that it would cancel all 100 regular season games scheduled through November 15. In total, the NBA's players stand to lose about $115M that has already been committed to them in salaries.

Ultimately, the parties could not make significant progress toward a new agreement. And in such a labor strife, the first instinct is to point the finger at one of the two parties involved. But honestly, fans don't care. As far as they're concerned, there's more than enough blame to go around.

So while the NBPA President Derek Fisher and the NBA's Lead Negotiator Allan Silver point fingers and attempt to prosecute one another in the court of public opinion... There remains but one thing upon which everyone can agree... 

The fans and the thousands of arena workers and merchants who depend on the NBA are the real losers.

Although the NBA and the NBPA have been negotiating in earnest since August 1, the sense of urgency felt over the past few weeks seems too little, too late. It's very fair to question what took so long since the league went about a month without meeting with the players' union after the lockout began on July 1. Despite their many questions and deflated hopes, all fans have to show for over 100 days of wondering whether they will have basketball is more uncertainty and apologies from members of the players' union. 

Sure, every game canceled will result in season ticket holders being issued refunds, plus interest. But that's small stuff. Fans want their basketball.

What's more important was that The NBA's Commissioner, David Stern, was unequivocal in his proclamation: There will not be an 82 game season, and the lost games are canceled, not postponed.

Obviously, that could change. The league values competitive balance and wants its marquee match ups and high television ratings. However, at this point, nothing is promised and fans can only count on what has been stated by the league.

And as of right now, the NBA has canceled some very noteworthy games, including:

Here, the biggest losers might be the season ticket holders of the Chicago Bulls. Yes, Bulls fans have Derrick Rose, but unfortunately, they won't get to see him compete against the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and the reigning NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin will also skip Chicago this year. Since Dallas, Oklahoma City, and the Clippers are Western Conference teams, they are each scheduled to make only one trip to the Chicago since it's an Eastern Conference city. Those trips were each scheduled to take place in the very early part of the season. Yes, the same part that has been canceled.

Fans in New York City will also miss out on Kevin Durant since his Thunder were supposed to make their lone appearance in Madison Square Garden on November 8. Worse, though, is that Knicks fans will have to wait until April 15 for their chance to serenade LeBron James and his Miami Heat with boos. Obviously, that game might not even count since both teams will probably have locked up their playoff seedings by then. So don't overlook that initial cancellation: The Heat, mind you, were scheduled to play the Knicks in their home opener at Madison Square Garden on November 2. Now, Knicks fans might have to wait until 2012-2013 to see Carmelo Anthony battle Lebron James in a meaningful game in MSG.

That is, unless the Knicks and the Heat meet in the playoffs. But in order to have playoffs, you need to have a season. Sorry NBA fans. We're just not there yet. 

So, what was supposed to be an exciting season hangs in the balance.

Poof! Gone!

At this point, there is very little that can be said to NBA fans. They want basketball and they're not accepting apologies. Not today. Not While the country is one the brink of another recession.

At a time when fans usually turn to professional sports as an outlet or escape, they're met with apologies from millionaires that are fighting with other millionaires over the right to become mega-millionaires. Not interested.

The most that can be done is looking at the glass as being half full. At least Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger returned to the UNC and OSU, respectively. If all else fails, they'll probably give NBA fans basketball to watch come Spring time.

How's about a round of applause for the National Basketball Association?

The NBA: Where Disappointment Happens.

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