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NBA preseason canceled, season opening in jeopardy

By Lateef Mungin and Joe Sutton
updated 8:08 AM EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, left, and Commissioner David Stern speak at a press conference after NBA labor negotiations in New York on Tuesday, October 4, 2011.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, left, and Commissioner David Stern speak at a press conference after NBA labor negotiations in New York on Tuesday, October 4, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The first 2 weeks of the regular season are in jeopardy
  • NEW: Canceling the preseason brings a revenue loss of about $200 million, the NBA commissioner says
  • The lockout has lasted three months

(CNN) -- The NBA has canceled its preseason, and the first two weeks of the regular season are in jeopardy as team owners and players remain at odds over a new labor deal.

"By Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season," NBA Commissioner David Stern said Tuesday.

The cancellation of all 114 preseason games will mean a loss of about $200 million in revenue, he said. The NBA already had announced the cancellation of some preseason games.

"And we're looking down the barrel of losing regular-season games. There's an extraordinary hit coming to the owners and to the players," Stern said.

The sometimes bitter labor struggle and lockout has stretched to three months.

"We can only say we are running out of time so many times," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver has said.

NBA Players Association President Derek Fisher has acknowledged the stakes.

"We are aware of the calendar," he said this week. "We know our backs are against the wall in terms of regular season games and what those consequences will be."

Last week, the NBA announced that it had postponed player training camps for the upcoming season and canceled some preseason games. Training camps were scheduled to open on October 3.

Representatives from both sides have been meeting in hopes of hammering out a collective bargaining deal, but no significant progress has been announced.

The NBA began a lockout of its players in early July.

Stern has said that last season was not profitable for most of the league's 30 owners, who want cost-cutting help from players.

The league lost as much as $300 million in the 2010-11 season, Stern has said.

One of the battles has focused on the owners' rejection of the players union's call for an average $7 million player salary in the sixth year of a new labor deal.

The current average salary is about $5 million.

Other big issues include a fight over whether the NBA will strengthen its salary cap and a move by owners to get a bigger share of revenues.

The last work stoppage occurred in 1998.

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