“Right now, Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, just before my owners come into town, having brought in the labor relations committee and Billy (Hunter) having brought in his executive committee, it’s time to make the deal, If we don’t make it on Tuesday, my gut — this is not in my official capacity of canceling games — but my gut is that we won’t be playing on Christmas Day.” (from ESPN’s report on the lockout talks)
That was David Stern, 38 days ago.
Today, it turns out David Stern’s gut feeling, among all the “guts” we’ve had. Whether it was Dan Gilbert talking gut feelings, or Billy Hunter giving his opinions, the commissioner, once again, wins.
4 days. That’s how long the sides have to save Christmas, and, effectively, stop the NBA’s 2011-12 season from becoming just the 2012 season. Why is it four days? Because 30 days is the period needed for getting the agreements through, making a free-agency period and a very short training camp.
While the games are cancelled through December 15th, the conservatism probably an effect of David Stern’s promise to the TV networks, that date is long gone, unless the NBA wants to screw over the rookies and rebuilding squads, that is.
While Ken Berger reported that NBA and the players are seeking one last shot at an agreement through back-channels, with no official news on the issues, and just more legal moves (or lexblabber, if you will) made by both sides, the sides don’t seem any closer to talks, let alone a new CBA.
And… Who knows, after the NBPA’s transformation into a Trade Association, Christmas might actually already be lost.
And while the NHL’s brightest star is putting on his gameday jersey for the first time in over ten months, the NBA is reading itself to survive the first Christmas loss for over 10 years.
Perhaps the Gary Bettman now wishes that he scheduled something for Christmas this year, given that the NBA’s owners and players decided to be a collective Grinch.