THE NUMBERS GAME

Lockout continues as the NBA cancels regular season games

There have been a lot of numbers thrown around as far as the NBA lockout goes, but as of Monday night the most important number is two. That is the number of weeks in the regular season that Commissioner David Stern has canceled after the league and players union left the negotiating table with no deal.
The next number fans will probably see is 103, which is the number of days the players have been locked out as of Tuesday. The two sides have yet to come to an agreement on issues regarding the salary split, luxury taxes and contract lengths. Stern told reporters he believed what was being proposed was fair and he is sad to see that both sides cannot agree. Union head Billy Hunter doesn’t see it that way at all.
“I’m convinced that this is all just part of the plan,” Hunter told reporters on Monday. “I think everybody’s waiting for the players to cave. They figure that once a player misses a check or two, it’s all over. I’m saying … that would be a horrible mistake if they think that’s going to happen, because it’s not going to happen. The players are all going to hang in.”
With the two sides significantly apart from each other in negotiations and no signs of an end in sight players are starting to put their eggs in other baskets. Several European born players like Rudy Fernandez (Spain) and Danilo Gallinari (Italy) have already signed up to play for their home countries. All-star point guard Tony Parker made headlines signing with a French team for less than $2000 a month. Deron Williams made his stunning announcement earlier this year by deciding to play in Turkey.
Meanwhile players stateside are keeping busy doing celebrity basketball tournaments for fans. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were just a few of the big names to play in the latest charity basketball game in Miami. But everyone involved, including the fans, knows that these are only temporary distractions. If the “significant gap” that has kept the players and owners from making a deal doesn’t close soon the next number we will see is 2012 as in the next time we will see NBA basketball.

 

Information from an ESPN.com report was used in this story.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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