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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NBA Cancels 43 Preseason Games!

According to the Associated Press (via ESPN):

The NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached a new labor deal with players.

NBA Logo The NBA owners have locked out the players, and little progress has been made in negotiations. ESPN.com Topics keeps you up to date with all of the latest on the NBA’s ongoing lockout. Topics Page »

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

31 comments on “NBA Cancels 43 Preseason Games!

  1. Zach Horst

    Makes sense – I have been expecting this for a while. The fact that they aren’t even getting rid of the full preseason, though, is good news. I’m still sitting at 50/50 on whether any regular-season games are canceled or not.

  2. d-mar

    (repeating from prior thread)

    From a season ticket holder’s perspective, it’s not all bad, as those preseason tix were always a burden more than a benefit. But we are also on the verge of losing regular season games as well, which would truly suck. And the prospect of a shortened season, while obviously preferable to no season, doesn’t thrill me either – remember those ugly back to back to back games in 1999?

    It just doesn’t feel like a breakthrough is anywhere close to happening. Enjoy hockey this winter!

  3. Count Zero

    I doubt this will go on much longer — unless they’re all stupid. (Possible.) Four more weeks at most, I give it.

    The cold hard reality staring both sides in the face is that they can’t afford to keep this up. Attendance continues to trend downward over the long term, there are no really charismatic stars to bolster popularity, and the game has become less of a team sport (Dallas’ title notwithstanding) and more of a superstar with entourage game. Meanwhile, college ball is extremely popular and is really a more interesting game from a technical perspective. If they cancel more than 10% of the season, they are going to shoot themselves in the foot in a big way.

    Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but you take a look at the various sports sites — ESPN, Fox, CBS, etc. — and a large portion of the comments on these stories is: Who cares? Cancel the season.

    They were already facing an image problem going in — an extended lockout will take them years to recover from and will likely cost both sides much more than the difference in their negotiating stances.

  4. Frank

    totally agree with Count Zero – no one is stupid enough to lose anything more than a handful of regular season games. they’ve all seen the NHL and how a sport that was a solid #4 (behind NFL/NBA/MLB) had to struggle even to get a TV contract with Versus after stupidly throwing away a season.

    i sort of wish all the media types would just stop writing about stuff until the real deadlines are here, in 2-3 weeks. it’s all posturing now.

  5. Z

    d-mar:
    (repeating from prior thread)

    Enjoy hockey this winter!

    I laughed when I read that (how many NBA fans would actually substitute hockey for basketball, right?) Then I looked to the right and saw that the Anaheim Mighty Ducks were advertising on KB. I guess the NHL does see a market opening :)

  6. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “Meanwhile, college ball is extremely popular and is really a more interesting game from a technical perspective. If they cancel more than 10% of the season, they are going to shoot themselves in the foot in a big way.”

    I just don’t see college sports, particularly basketball, filling the void. Here is a little blurb from last year on >the state of the college hoops:

    College basketball’s difficult sporting reality really hit me in the wake of this past weekend when two events occurred. First, Tennessee upset undefeated, No. 1 Kansas and it took SportsCenter 40 minutes to get to the highlights and second, an undefeated Kentucky opened its conference season against Georgia, and many Wildcat fans chose to watch the Cincinnati Bengals play the New York Jets, instead.

    Consider this my own private tipping point. When Wildcat fans choose NFL football over college basketball, there has to be something larger at issue here, right? What has happened to relegate college basketball to the interest backburner? And is there any reason to suggest that college basketball will ever be something more than a six-week national obsession?

    If anything the NBA is helping get rid of college, with drafting underclassmen to break up the continuity of the 4 year player. College has it’s niche (the word used by that same author) but I don’t see it surpassing the NBA. Well not until the NCAA starts paying it’s players. No kid is going to stay in school when they can make serious money in the NBA (or overseas if the NBA crumbles).

  7. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Count Zero: The cold hard reality staring both sides in the face is that they can’t afford to keep this up. Attendance continues to trend downward over the long term, there are no really charismatic stars to bolster popularity, and the game has become less of a team sport (Dallas’ title notwithstanding) and more of a superstar with entourage game.

    Attendance has been stable over the last 8 years at about 17k per game, source: http://www.apbr.org/attendance.html

    Also when hasn’t the NBA been about a superstar with entourage? Certainly not in the Jordan era. Or the Shaq era. The 80 Laker/Celtic teams were stacked, more like the Miami Thrice than the ’04 Pistons.

  8. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

    Thinking that the college game will somehow “fill the void” is misguided, I think. If anything, the whole drama over paying student athletes, coupled with the ridiculous realignment orgy that just won’t end, has left just an equally bitter taste in the mouths of fans.

    If the NBA missed a whole season, then yeah, there would absolutely be some long-term (and decidedly bad) ramifications. But, as many have pointed out before, even if we end up with an abbreviated 60 or 62 game schedule, I don’t think that would be such a terrible thing as far as the quality of the game is concerned. And if they can pull that off while hammering out a 10 year agreement a’la the NFL, even better.

    Honestly, I think we’ll end up having a full season. Sure, not having a training camp or preseason — along with upping the back-to-backs — will make for a pretty ugly first few months. But I’d be shocked if we even had a repeat of ’99; it just seems like the tenor and demeanor is much more corgial this time around.

  9. Count Zero

    Re the attendance — that’s one way of looking at it. Another way would be to say it’s down 2.5% vs. its peak in 06-07. :)

    A fair point on the entourage — but I would argue that the Magic Lakers, and the Bird Celtics were significantly less entourage-based.

    I won’t debate this with you because I know there are a lot of people who feel strongly that the NBA showcases a great sport. And I have no empirical research to highlight a decline in popularity. Anecdotally though, while I know dozens of hardcore football and baseball fans, I know very few hardcore NBA fans. And the opinion that (1) Nothing matters in the NBA game prior to the 4th quarter (2) The game is officiated with a clear bias to the “stars” of the league and (3) iso ball is ruining the game, has a lot of traction among the mainstream multi-sport fan. And even though I enjoy a good NBA game, realistically — watching the UCONN women play is more entertaining in many ways because they actually play an unselfish team sport which is more exciting than watching four guys stand around on one side of the court while one guy figures out how best to go one on one vs. his opponent. It’s actually one of the reasons I like D’Antoni. :)

    The one piece of evidence I will point out though is this: Despite the supposed star power and highlight reel dunks — despite the global appeal of basketball vs baseball and football — the NBA still trails MLB and the NFL by miles in revenue terms. And the NHL is actually climbing within striking distance of them once again, despite the fact that most people don’t even get hockey and that the NHL has very little TV revenue. That alone should tell you that the league is doing a pretty poor job of earning money. Cite whatever reason you want for that — racism, whatever. Nonetheless, MLB is boring its fans all the way to the bank with almost double the revenue of the NBA. An extended lockout will put the NHL very close to the NBA in the next few years.

  10. BigBlueAL

    The NBA is coming off its most popular season since Michael Jordan played for the Bulls. Dunno what the hell you are talking about.

  11. James

    Yeah, thinking that college basketball is more interesting from a technical perspective…I don’t even know how to understand that. And I like college basketball and am looking forward to this upcoming season because there are some powerhouse teams. But I find the NBA game much more entertaining. Maybe, from a defensive perspective, the college game could be more fascinating because of the all-out zones but I wouldn’t even go there because of the intricate help defenses you’ll see from the Bulls, Celtics, Heat that aren’t possible in college because the players aren’t talented enough. On the offensive end, the NBA blows college ball away in complexity and diversity, which should be the case because the players are much better and capable of doing more. In the college game, you don’t see a lot of post play, dribble action off screens, well-run fastbreaks and so on and so on. And the players who can create their own shot and do all kinds of amazing things are very rare.

  12. daJudge

    How’s everyone doing? Can someone comment on the cap numbers and how it might effect the Knicks pursuit of CP3. Thanks.

  13. flossy

    Count Zero: The cold hard reality staring both sides in the face is that they can’t afford to keep this up. Attendance continues to trend downward over the long term, there are no really charismatic stars to bolster popularity, and the game has become less of a team sport (Dallas’ title notwithstanding) and more of a superstar with entourage game. Meanwhile, college ball is extremely popular and is really a more interesting game from a technical perspective. If they cancel more than 10% of the season, they are going to shoot themselves in the foot in a big way.

    Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but you take a look at the various sports sites — ESPN, Fox, CBS, etc. — and a large portion of the comments on these stories is: Who cares? Cancel the season.

    This is just all kinds of wrong. As others have pointed out, attendance has actually been relatively stable recently, which is notable since the national economy has been in the toilet for the past several years. This years NBA finals did its best TV ratings in 11 years, and (though this can’t be quantified) the league has more young, rootable star talent and more narratively interesting teams and rivalries right now than at any time since the Jordan era ended.

    Your reporting that commenters on the Fox sports blogs and such are saying go ahead and cancel the season is beyond irrelevant. Commenters on their news blogs routinely claim that vaccines make you retarded and Obama is from Mars. Blog commenters (present company excluded) should generally be strenuously ignored.

    The NBA has plenty of problems, but you managed not to correctly identify any of them.

  14. flossy

    Oh yeah, and re: college basketball. I am a basketball fanatic and by and large I would rather watch paint dry, or even pro hockey, than see the more ‘technically interesting’ (i.e. vastly less athletic and talented) players unfit to go pro, go at in the service of the NCAA, a sports organization so outrageously corrupt and incompetent it would make the David Sterns, James Dolans etc. of the world blush.

  15. John Kenney

    @CountZero i hope what happened here is wordpress took one of your points from 2006 and transported it to the present. Because last season was incredibly entertaining and had fantastic storylines attached to almost every team.

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    On a different subject I have a question about the lockout it would be nice if someone could help me with.

    If I had an employment contract with some employer but he told me not to show up for work and refused to pay me, I could go work somewhere else. So why aren’t Carmelo, Amare etc, automatically free agents once they miss their first paycheck. I do realize that of course they won’t get paid as much somewhere else, but that’s not what I am thinking about. I am thinking that when the NBA starts up again, why isn’t everyone who didn’t receive a scheduled pay check an un restricted free agent?

  17. Nick C.

    If attendance is stable and before these negotiations began Stern was trumpeting how successful the league was what happened? I suspect either he was blowing his own horn and/or the claims of losses are creatively accounted for.

  18. John Kenney

    Also great.. “Don’t be surprised if Toney Douglas shows up in November with a Mega Man–style cannon in place of his right arm.”

  19. Eternal OptiKnist

    Love the site, first time post. I dont have numbers to back this up, but this past season was the first time in more than a decade that you hear the casual sports fan talk about the NBA. Unlike football, casual interest in the NBA post-Jordan is fickle and if we lose games, that interest will go elsewhere…which bums me out.

  20. Eternal OptiKnist

    Now to get off-topic for a moment. Firstly, I can’t remember where i heard it, but Chaunce “tweaked” his ankle in a an Impact league game and sat out the latter parts of the game (had a good game for what it’s worth). Anyone know if this was a significant sprain or really a no-news tweak? Second, as much as I recognize Chris Paul as an amazingly talented player, does anyone else see him as an injury waiting to happen? I want a great guard to make this team run, but he scares me injury-wise. I was pissed to find out Deron was available after Melo-fever. As talented as i think Melo is, his personality really bothers me..he seems to have the “i’m better than you” alienating attitude that Amare does not.

  21. Z

    What, no movie review of Moneyball here at KB? Nothing against Roger Ebert, but I want to know what stat-heads think of the movie. Anybody pissed that they boiled the sabermetrics down to two sentences? Anybody wish they’d cast Michael Cera as Billy Beane instead of Brad Pitt?

    At least the Owens, Calebs, Ted Nelsons, and Cock Jowles of the world must be happy that the mainstream has officially been served notice that economists make better sports GMs than old-school scouts…

  22. James

    “I like that Melo’s working on a low-post game.”

    Oh, he has a post-game. He’s not starting from scratch in that area. He could probably stand to use it more if it means getting closer to the basket and taking more higher percentage shots. The aspect of his game I’d like to hear he’s working on is using screens more. Next to Kobe, I think he uses screens the least of the top perimeter scorers, which baffles me because it’s such a weapon and he has the skills to take advantage of it. In iso situations, he’s good taking his man off the dribble but at times it’s a grind for him, which affects his ability to finish around the basket. He could use some help getting some separation from his defender. It was also solve the problem of keeping both Amare and Carmelo engaged simultaneously instead one of the trading off for long stretches.

    I expected to see him use screens more after getting away from Karl’s iso-heavy offense and into D’Antoni’s screen-heavy one. But it was probably unrealistic to think he’d change his game so quickly.

    One of these years, he has to average more than 4 assists. It’s unbelievable that a player with his passing skills has never cross that mark.

  23. gregory arkadin

    I’m not sure if this is something D’Antoni has done before, but I’m hoping that they’ll run some plays for Melo to post-up closer to the basket, rather than just giving him the ball at the elbow and saying “go for it,” as they often seemed to do. If a few more of his long twos and threes can come off of open looks, and his isolation plays can be within 10-15 feet of the goal, he’ll be more effective. It’s nice for an offense to have that one-on-one scoring option, from time to time.

  24. BigBlueAL

    James:
    “I like that Melo’s working on a low-post game.”

    Oh, he has a post-game.He’s not starting from scratch in that area.He could probably stand to use it more if it means getting closer to the basket and taking more higher percentage shots.The aspect of his game I’d like to hear he’s working on is using screens more.Next to Kobe, I think he uses screens the least of the top perimeter scorers, which baffles me because it’s such a weapon and he has the skills to take advantage of it.In iso situations, he’s good taking his man off the dribble but at times it’s a grind for him, which affects his ability to finish around the basket.He could use some help getting some separation from his defender.It was also solve the problem of keeping both Amare and Carmelo engaged simultaneously instead one of the trading off for long stretches.

    I expected to see him use screens more after getting away from Karl’s iso-heavy offense and into D’Antoni’s screen-heavy one.But it was probably unrealistic to think he’d change his game so quickly.

    One of these years, he has to average more than 4 assists.It’s unbelievable that a player with his passing skills has never cross that mark.

    I think one of the reasons he shot so well from 3pt range with the Knicks was his use of screens to get wide-open looks from there, especially toward the end of the regular season. Also hitting crazy 30 ft 3pter’s when he was on fire helped too lol

  25. Z-man

    How’s this:

    Revenue share: 50%

    Max guaranteed deal length @ 4 years, 5th year both team and player options

    MLE: $6 mil per @3 year max,
    or $7.5 mil per @ 2 year max,
    or $9 mil per @ 1 yr max

    Bird exception: 1 per 2 years, 2 year extension max

    Luxury tax: $2 for every dollar over cap

  26. John Kenney

    Eliminate the exceptions maybe and we’re close. I think each team should have an MLS style rule where you can have one player that’s your franchise guy and can pay him whatever you want, with a set number against cap, and rest of the team has to fit cap.

  27. Frank

    will be interesting to see what amnesty provisions are put in, and who actually gets dropped. guys like haywood, biedrins, or even rashard lewis might look pretty good in NYK unis.

  28. Z-man

    John Kenney:
    Eliminate the exceptions maybe and we’re close. I think each team should have an MLS style rule where you can have one player that’s your franchise guy and can pay him whatever you want, with a set number against cap, and rest of the team has to fit cap.

    I put in the exceptions because it might appease the players, yet at 2:1 luxury tax penalty teams would be less likely to use it. Maybe one deal every three years would be better?

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