The NBA will be forced to cancel at least another two weeks of the new season with owners and players remaining at odds over a new collective contract, according to the New York Daily News.
In an article posted on its website, the newspaper cited a person “familiar with the league’s plans” as saying the widely expected announcement would come on Tuesday.
The first two weeks of the regular season — 100 games scheduled from November 1-November 14 — have already been lost as league owners and players wrangle over a deal to replace the one that expired on July 1, when owners locked out players.
Further games have been in jeopardy since talks collapsed on Thursday, with the sides still far apart on issues including division of revenues and a salary cap structure.
NBA commissioner David Stern left the talks on Thursday because of the flu and hasn’t commented since then on the lack of progress and potential cancellations.
There was a harsher tone after the latest break off in negotiations after three days of meetings with federal mediator George Cohen.
Union president Derek Fisher, a 15-year NBA guard now with the Los Angeles Lakers, said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt had lied to reporters in their summation of the situation.
Owners offered the players a 50-50 split of basketball related income, well below the 57 percent players enjoyed in the prior deal.
“They knew when they presented what they were presenting to us that it wasn’t going to fly,” players union executive director Billy Hunter said.
Players, who have lost $170 million in salaries for missed games already, trimmed their latest compromise from 53 percent to 52.5 percent, but when the union would not agree to 50-50 terms, owners broke off negotiations.
Still separating the sides at those percentages is a $100 million gap in annual income, which translates into $1 billion over the 10-year deal that club owners seek.