Sunday , Oct , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Stern thinks he can deliver ESPN an 82-game season?

While two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled and at least two more are expected to go soon, two sources close to the negotiations said the union believes that Stern assured his ESPN and TNT television partners that, by back-ending the missed games, he can still deliver an 82-game season even if starts in December. Accurate or not, the players’ perception of when their early paychecks will truly be gone for good will determine when they reach for the panic button.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Apparently, there’s still time.

Various publications are reporting that the NBA could still play an 82 game season if players and owners solve their differences and sign off on a new collective bargaining agreement.

It has to happen quickly, though, and this could be the problem.

Even after days of mediation, owners and players are holding firm to their positions on Basketball Related Income and system issues like the luxury tax.

There’s another complication: reports indicate that owners are split into small market Hawks and big market Doves. The Hawks – teams like Charlotte, Milwaukee, Phoenix – are holding firm for major concessions, while the Doves -teams like Chicago, Miami, and New York – are eager to settle.

Hopefully, the two sides meet next week and make progress. The alternative isn’t pretty.

–O.Sandor.

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