You thought you knew about the 2011-2012 NBA regular season. But you had no idea. (Explosion noise.)
The New York Times reports that the NBA will craft an entirely new 2011-2012 schedule once the lockout finally ends, sending the schedule released back in July to the scrap heap.
Whenever the lockout is resolved, the N.B.A. will build a new schedule from scratch, using all arena dates that are still reserved, according to people who are aware of the league’s plans. N.B.A. officials declined to discuss the issue Tuesday.
Thus, the decision to formally announce cancellations is an academic exercise, and perhaps a bit of a political theater. The announcements serve as a warning shot to the league’s 430-plus players, a reminder that they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
So far, the N.B.A. has canceled 100 games, scheduled for Nov. 1 to 14. The next cancellation announcement would cover the balance of the November schedule, at a minimum. Or the league could elect to postpone all games indefinitely.
On Monday, a report surfaced that the NBA was planning to cancel an additional two weeks of its regular season schedule on Tuesday. However, a formal announcement was not made on Tuesday.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com notes on Twitter that the announcement of decisions to cancel games is unimportant.
I’m sorry, but timing of cancellations is silly. Players aren’t checking email for that press release. They know when pay day is. If a deal is reached, games could be rescheduled. If no deal, more games will be lost. Timing relevant only as bargaining tactic.
This shouldn’t be an entirely shocking development given that the first month of the season is essentially compromised. Ensuring a proper balance in home/road games, division/conference opponents, a fairly equal number of back-to-backs and three-games-in-four-night, and the like is no easy task.
Is it likely that the new schedule looks vaguely similar to the original? Sure it is. Teams will still have the same days they can’t use arenas and they will still have the same desires for marquee match-ups on certain days of the week. The television networks will still have the same desire for TV-friendly, starpower-driven rivalry games.
But lopping off the first month (or two months, or three months) and pretending it never happened wouldn’t adequately solve all of these delicate issues. So here we are: not knowing when games will be played and not knowing which games will be played.