Tonight, the NBA season was slated to begin. As we know, that won’t be happening any time soon. With the prolonged lockout, NBA commissioner David Stern has canceled all games scheduled in the month of November. The Celtics were scheduled to host the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night at the TD Bank Garden.
What would have been viewed as a marquee game two seasons ago with LeBron James still dawning a Cavalier jersey would have been a good tune-up for the Celtics and a chance to get a look at two of the top-four picks in the draft this past year: Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. The one chance for Boston fans to see Irving, the No. 1 pick in the draft, in person is now gone. The only way that would change is if the lockout ended and the league released a brand new schedule.
There are some reports that an NBA labor deal is 95% complete, but that last 5% seems to be by far the biggest hang-up on a potential CBA. The final hurdle for the two sides to complete is the split for Basketball Related Income (BRI). As of right now, the owners want an even split of 50-50. The players have dropped from 57% in their favor to an offer of about 52%. If neither side budges, we may not have a season. Seems pretty petty to everyone that doesn’t sit in on the meetings, but it’s not my money so I won’t get involved.
As of right now, I get a feel that a lot of people are holding out hope that the NBA will open their season on Christmas Day. I, personally, think it’s a great time to open up. Basketball fans will have waited two long months for some professional basketball and Christmas Day games get incredible ratings. You have your elite teams (Mavericks, Bulls, Heat, Lakers, Magic, Celtics, Knicks and Thunder) headline opening day. There’s only one NFL game on Christmas Day, so there wouldn’t be too much competition on the tube for viewers. With only one more week of the NFL regular season and the playoffs on Sundays, the NBA would only have to wait a couple more weeks to begin their NBA on NBC Sunday schedules.
Maybe the situation I just laid out comes to fruition. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Maybe the season is already lost. Maybe this will be more than just a dark day, but a dark season, in the history of the league. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.