The National Basketball Association (NBA), locked in a labor dispute with its players, has canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, NBA commissioner David Stern said on Monday.

The decision was made after league owners and players
were unable to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement
in a last-ditch meeting in New York.


The season was scheduled to start on November 1 and the
abandonment covers all games originally scheduled to be played through
to November 14.


"Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to
reach a new agreement with the players' union that allows all 30 teams
to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our
players," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

 

The league said refunds plus interest were available for all NBA season-ticket holders for all pre-season and regular-season games that were canceled.


Among the games that have gone is the planned opening day that would have pitted the champions, the Dallas Mavericks, at home to the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the L.A. Lakers.


NBA owners contend
the league lost $300 million last season with 22 of 30 teams in the red.
They had wanted the league's share of basketball-related income
increased from 50 to 57 percent, along with a firm salary cap and
shorter contracts.


The players had offered to reduce their share from 57
to 53 percent. The league has said owners were willing to discuss a
50-50 split.

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