In another event in a sequence throughout the lockout that sounds like one thing and is really another, the NBPA canceled a Sunday regional meeting in Los Angeles. Immediately the questions began. "Does this mean they're meeting with the league? Is it a last-minute hail mary? Is there hope?"
No, not so much, it was just more convenient for them to get their rabble rousing out of the way early.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the meeting was rescheduled because it was more convenient for the players already in Miami to hold it Saturday night. After the meeting, Carmelo Anthony slammed the door shut on any sort of hopefulness that might have been brewing. From the AP:
The way Anthony put it Saturday night, it almost seems inevitable."Theyre going to cancel the first two weeks of the season," Anthony said. "Well see what happens then. If they want to lock us out, lock us out. Were going to stick together."via Now what? After Miami game, players wait and see - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.
The New York Knicks forward played in the South Florida All-Star Classic hosted by Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami, the latest - and most competitive - of the many exhibitions players have participated in during this lockout that reached the 100-day mark Saturday. NBA Commissioner David Stern has said that the first two weeks of the regular season could be canceled as early as Monday if a deal is not struck.
Anthony says it would not be "realistic" for the sides to agree on anything before then.
Yahoo! also reports that at the meeting, the players stuck to their guns regarding 53 percent of BRI being the lowest their willing to go, while no meetings were scheduled due to the league's insistence on a 50-50 split being a precursor to any further talks.
So here we are. The trenches have been dug, both sides are settled in for the shelling, and Stern's finger is on the trigger. Barring a miracle, the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 NBA season will be canceled on Monday, costing the league, players, team cities, employees, local businesses and supporting industries millions of dollars, because the two sides won't even get in a room to discuss it.
Everyone's stopped trying to make sense out of the lockout, because you can't make sense out of something that's not driven by reasonable people. From the owners' childish insistences to the players' hyper-reactive defensiveness and clownish pouting, both sides have revealed themselves as more dedicated to "winning" this fight than getting a deal done. It's a business negotiation, and so it's cutthroat. But too often this has taken on the feel of the inmates running the asylum. The dogs are playing poker, and we hit the river.
If any meetings pop up in the next 24 hours we'll keep you updated and once the axe falls, we'll have complete reaction to that, too. The lockout drags on.