With a seemingly promising week of talks ending on a negative note Friday, David Stern announced that the NBA has cancelled all league games through November 30.
While up until now the cancellations had not been seriously impactful, with the chance of simply delaying the start of a full schedule of games, Stern commented that it was neither "possible, practical, or prudent" for a full 82-game NBA season to be played after this most recent wave of cancellations.
Though the news comes a few days later than initially anticipated, it was not unexpected. It's possible that the announcement was shelved as the two sides seemed to be drawing closer to an agreement. But with talks breaking down today and each side returning to he said, she said accusations regarding the circumstances under which they ended (primarily whether Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter was brusque in his departure), there was no longer a reason to pull the punch.
The divisive issue for owners and players continues to be the distribution of Basketball Related Income, with the players holding fast at a 52-48 split and the owners at 50-50. While that seems like a small difference to go to such measures, it's a matter of nearly $100 million. With such a substantial gulf between the sides, and basketball already cancelled through November, the prospect of seeing NBA games before 2012 is growing more and more unlikely.