NEW YORK — The NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached a new labor deal with players.
The NBA owners have locked out the players, and little progress has been made in negotiations. ESPN.com Topics keeps you up to date with all of the latest on the NBA’s ongoing lockout. Topics Page »
All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.
NBA.com’s schedule page, which has a banner across the top listing the number of games on each day, was changed Friday morning to read “0 Games” for each date until Oct. 16, when there are four games.
“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”
The cancellations were expected after the latest meeting between owners and players Thursday ended without a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides still hope the entire regular season, scheduled to begin Nov. 1, can be saved.
The NBA has lost games to a work stoppage only once, when the 1998-99 season was reduced to a 50-game schedule.
The league locked out the players on July 1 after the expiration of the old labor agreement. Owners and players still haven’t agreed on how to divide revenues — players were guaranteed 57 percent under the previous deal — or the structure of the salary cap.
During Thursday’s negotiations, the league offered players a 46 percent of basketball-related revenue, 11 percent less than they received in last deal and seven percent less than last proposal by players, a league source told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.
In negotiations, the players’ union had offered to reduce its percentage to as much as 54 percent, with the stipulation that a mechanism would be instituted to reward the players if future revenue increased, the source told Bucher.
The owners agreed to try to come up with a mechanism to solve their issues without adding a hard salary cap before the next meeting, according to the source. The owners, who have claimed they lost $300 million last season, have been seeking a hard cap — a condition the players have been unwilling to accept.
The next talks aren’t scheduled, but both sides said Thursday they hope to meet again next week. They probably need a deal by the middle of October to avoid canceling real games.
Asked Thursday if he thought things were far enough along to still believe that was possible, commissioner David Stern said: “I don’t have any response to that. I just don’t. I don’t know the answer.”
Information from ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher and The Associated Press was used in this report.