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David Stern keeps his word, NBA cancels first two weeks of season

While most of the country enjoyed a day off on Monday due to Columbus Day, representatives from the NBA and players union were meeting in New York.  The two sides met for over seven hours in a ‘last ditch' attempt to end the lockout before commissioner David Stern's deadline, after which he said that the league would begin to cancel regular season games.

Around 10pm on Monday night the extremely long negotiation came to an end, and I'm sure that's when basketball fans all over the world began to hold their collective breaths while waiting to hear what the result of the meeting was.  It only took a few minutes for David Stern to announce that a new deal had not been reached and that he was going to make good on his promise to cancel the first two weeks of the regular season.  Said Stern:

"We are just way apart. The gap is so significant that we just can't bridge it at this time. We just have a gulf that separates us."

"We certainly hoped it would never come to this. With every day that goes by, I think we need to look at further reductions in what's left of the season."

In a perfect world the Miami Heat would be playing their first preseason game on Tuesday and preparing to make another run at the NBA Finals.  Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and right now the reality is that the owners and players are very far apart on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.  From the looks of things, it doesn't seem as though the sides will get any closer in the near future either. 

It seems as though the league is continuing to present the players union with proposals that would benefit the owners much more then it would the players.  They continue to hold the position that David Stern isn't being truthful in what he says to the media.  Players union chief Billy Hunter went on to say that the owners were making a mistake in thinking that the players would be threatened by the cancellation of games, which translates into a loss of paychecks.

"I think everybody is waiting for the players to cave. They figure that once a player misses a check or two it's all over. That would be a horrible mistake if they think that's going to happen, because it's not going to happen. The players are all going to hang in."

The players also became very active on Twitter in the minutes following Stern's announcement that games would be lost.  As upset as these guys are getting it really makes me wonder how much truth there is in the accusations that the commissioner is, for lack of a better term, jerking the players around and trying to make it look like they are the ones being unreasonable when he talks to the media.  I give credit to players union president Derek Fisher who took the high road when addressing the media on Monday night:

"This is not where we choose to be. We're not at a place where a fair deal can be reached with the NBA."

What this all means for the Heat is that they will miss at least 6 games in the (hopefully) upcoming season, with the league announcing that all games through November 14th would be cancelled.  As it stands right now, Miami would open the season at home against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday Nov 16th. Their first away game would come two days later in Cleveland.