NBA

Games in jeopardy as talks stretch into overtime

Updated: 27 October 2011 18:40 IST

NBA clubs owners and players resumed talks on a new contract and negotiated for more than 10 hours on Wednesday as the prospect loomed of more games being wiped off the 2011-2012 schedule.

Games in jeopardy as talks stretch into overtime

New York:

NBA clubs owners and players resumed talks on a new contract and negotiated for more than 10 hours on Wednesday as the prospect loomed of more games being wiped off the 2011-2012 schedule.

On the 118th day since the lockout began, owners and players met in small groups in hopes of finding common ground to end the shutdown that began on July 1.

The NBA has already called off the first 100 scheduled games of the season between November 1-14 and league officials are expected to cancel as much as the remainder of November's game schedule if the latest negotiations fail.

Billionaire owners and millionaire players have been unable to agree on how to split about $4 billion in annual revenues, prompting owners to shut down the NBA on July 1 when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.

Owners claim only eight clubs made money last season, a total of $150 million for the profitable teams, while the other 22 clubs lost $450 million, pushing owners to seek savings through payroll cutbacks and a hard salary cap.

Players made 57 percent of basketball-related income under the previous deal and have offered to accept as little as 52.5 percent, while owners have demanded a 50-50 split and ended talks last week when players would not agree.

Players say their concessions would give owners more than $1 billion over the length of the 10-year deal they seek. Owners say that is not enough and they remain about $100 million apart based on last season's income.

Deciding exactly what constitutes basketball-related revenues is yet another item the two sides must settle in negotiations that broke off with each side blaming the other for failure last week.

This is the first time NBA games have been called off over contract issues since the 1998-99 season was trimmed from 82 to 50 games per club.

While NBA fans wonder if they will have a season at all, arena workers and employees at pubs and restaurants near arenas are set to lose money for every missed game in a season that was set to begin next Tuesday.

NBA players have played in exhibitions around the United States in place of what would have been pre-season games with their NBA clubs.

Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson has scheduled games in Las Vegas on November 12-13 at a college basketball arena, among the biggest venues for what has largely been an informal series of pickup games at small gymnasiums.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the World All-Star Classic, a six-game global tour by Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and other NBA stars, will begin Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other games in the series, according to the report, will be November 1 and 2 at London's O2 Arena, November 6 at Macau's Venetian Hotel Cotai Arena and November 8 and 9 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Among those set to take part are Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo Tyson Chandler, Blake Griffin and Amare Stoudemire.

Topics : NBA
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