NBA negotiations get slammed

NBA players and club owners have broken off negotiations in their money dispute, leading to the cancellation of the remaining pre-season games.

With no new talks planned, regular-season games on Tuesday (EDT) may well be cancelled.

Bargaining committees met for more than four hours in a failed last-ditch bid to solve a shut-down over financial issues that has lasted 96 days, since owners locked out players after a prior deal ended July 1.

“By Monday we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.

“We were not able to make the progress we would have liked to make.”

Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA players association, said talks might not resume for a month or two – a scenario that most likely see NBA games cancelled until 2012 at the earliest.

“We have nothing scheduled but we have no foregone conclusions,” Stern said.

“We were told that it was not to be.”

The NBA club owners had previously called off pre-season training camps, and wiped out 43 pre-season games through to October 15.

With Tuesday bringing two more lost weeks of exhibitions, Stern estimated the NBA has already lost $210 million.

“We’re looking down the barrel of losing regular-season games,” Stern said.

“There’s an extraordinary hit coming to the owners and the players.”

by Buford Balony

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