When talks between the NBA and its players union broke last Thursday, union officials anticipated that the league would soon cancel more games from the 2011-12 schedule. But in reality, all of the games from that schedule, which was created over the summer, are essentially already gone.
Still, according to a Daily News report, the league on Tuesday will cancel another two weeks of that defunct schedule -- a total of 102 games -- through Nov. 28.
The first two weeks of the original schedule were canceled after talks broke down on Oct. 10, but it was not as if the league would have picked up from after the canceled games if a deal was reached in time. That logic should still hold true, even if a deal is somehow reached over the next few weeks. So essentially, the NBA is no longer canceling games, but really canceling "time" and pushing up the start of the season, when or if there is one.
In fact, the league has already begun to work with its 30 arenas to allow for scheduling of other events on nights when NBA games were scheduled. For instance, the NBA granted a request by Chicago's United Center to open up Nov. 30, when the Bulls were scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs, so it could have an additional date for a Jay-Z/Kanye West concert. The Staples Center was granted the same request for Dec. 13, when the Lakers were scheduled to host the Toronto Raptors. The Orange County Register originally reported these requests.
The league has granted these dates to the United Center and Staples Center with the condition that the arena provide another date for the league to use.
That condition would allow the league to have enough dates to reschedule an entire 82-game calendar, which the NBA would prefer to do if a deal with the union can be achieved in time. SI.com reported last week that union officials believe the league has assured its major broadcast rightsholders, ESPN and TNT, that the league could schedule an 82-game season starting as late as December.