When owners win

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

The easy answer is whenever the league wins.

That the two sides spent all last week negotiating the split of basketball-related income and then, on the day Commissioner David Stern announced cancellations, huge gaps on all system issues were revealed suggests it will be a while.

The owners aren't losing this one. The comments of Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver about all 30 teams needing a chance to win a title means increased revenue sharing and stiffer luxury tax penalties will be in place, even if, technically, a hard salary cap isn't.

I'm guessing late December or early January. That's better than an entire season. I do think the amount of negotiating that has transpired is a good sign.


Early February

Barry Stavro

Los Angeles Times

Entertainment conglomerates love sequels, so let's call this one: 1998-99, version 2.0.

Granted, David Stern really likes his marquee games on Christmas Day, but those will pass without a game being played.

Then, like the last NBA work stoppage 13 years ago, around Jan. 1 the huffing and puffing by the labor combatants will intensify. So Stern and players union boss Billy Hunter will convene once again, someone will blink first, and the framework of a new labor deal will be reached.

And voila, like the last time, around early February the games will begin — in a compressed regular-season format of about 50 games.


Home court for Christmas

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel