While attorneys representing the NBA players filed a pair of antitrust lawsuits against the league and its owners on Tuesday, to officially set off the next phase of this maddening labor dispute, the NBA office sent out letters to its 30 teams informing them of the next round of schedule cancelations.
Though it is often identified as "games," the reality is that the league essentially told teams that the calendar had been wiped out through Dec. 15. Again, the 2011-12 schedule as it was released in the summer no longer exists, so there is no way to quantify how many games have been lost. Commissioner David Stern said last week that if the players accepted the owners' proposal, a 72-game season could have begun on Dec. 5.
That's just 10 games less than the usual schedule despite over a month of time lost.
Regardless, Stern has consistently said the league would need 30 days from an agreement to start a season. So put away the slide rules and calculators and just take a peek at the calendar. As every day passes without a settlement, understand that another day is wiped from a possible 2011-12 season.
As a reminder, the league played a 50-game season in 1999 after a deal was reached on Jan. 6, one day before a deadline that Stern set to need a deal so a season of any form could be played.