Very quietly (and perhaps inconsequentially), the NBA canceled more games after labor negotiations broke Thursday. Schedules on the NBA team Web sites across the league now begin on Dec. 15 or 16, not at the beginning of the month.
There was no big announcement that more games were lost. The league announced hope that they can salvage a 72- or 70-game season if an agreement is made this week. And most have assumed that the schedule the league released this summer (and the one you get to play on NBA2K12) is not the schedule that would actually get played should the season ever begin.
Still, this is a symbolic move that shows we are getting ever closer to the announcement that the entire 2011-12 season could be lost.
Many believe the league has no intention of having a 50-game season like it did in 1999 that squeezed the schedule from late January into June to end on time. Both players and owners want to avoid that kind of a scenario. It simply did not work as players wore down quickly and injuries — and out-of-shape players — dominated the storyline from that season more than anything.
As far as the 72- or 70-game season is concerned, it would bunch up games to the pace of the 1999 locked out season. Some have speculated that the enticement of a 72-game season is a move by the league to save face with fans and show that this lockout really did not affect the length of the season or the amount of games played — plus the added bonus of having players miss only one paycheck.
We are getting closer and closer to the NBA canceling games for the rest of 2011. And the next step after that seems to be cancelling the remainder of the season. The rest of the season may go down the drain if the players don’t accept this latest offer. The owners want the players to feel the hurt so they can agree to their deal.
The schedule on the team Web sites may only be symbolic… but the clock is ticking ever closer to Doom’s Day as that schedule slowly evaporates.