With an $800 million gap in negotiations between the NBA and the NBA Players Association, Union President Billy Hunter doesn’t see much optimism in a 2011-12 NBA season. At a conference in Baltimore of the National Bar Association, Hunter stated that if he “had to bet on it,” he would place his chips on there being no basketball in 2011-12.
According to an article from the Baltimore Sun, Hunter noted that hard-lining owners were limiting NBA Commissioner David Stern in negotiations between the two sides.
“The circumstances have changed among his constituency,” said Hunter. “In the last six or seven years, there is a new group of owners to come in who paid a premium for their franchises, and what they’re doing is kind of holding his feet to the fire.”
When questioned by someone in attendance at the conference, whether or not there would be NBA basketball in 2011-12, Hunter replied: “If I had to bet on it at this moment, I would probably say no.”
While this could all just be a scare tactic being used to manipulate one side into caving, there is no doubt that a season-long cancellation has now become a legitimate threat to both sides.