NEW YORK -- The NBA will play a shortened season -- if it plays at all -- after labour negotiations broke down for the second time in a week.
NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled all November games on Friday, the 120th day of the lockout.
"It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now," said Stern, who previously cancelled the first two weeks of the season.
Just a day earlier, Stern had said he would consider it a failure if the two sides didn't reach a deal in the next few days and vowed they would take "one heck of a shot" to get it done.
Owners are insistent on a 50-50 split of revenues, while players last formally proposed they get 52.5 per cent, leaving them about $100 million apart annually. Players were guaranteed 57 per cent in the previous agreement.
"Derek (Fisher) and I made it clear that we could not take the 50-50 deal to our membership. Not with all the concessions that we granted," union executive director Billy Hunter said. "We said we got to have some dollars."
But with more games cancelled, the losses will begin to mount.
"We're going to have to recalculate how bad the damage is," Stern said. "The next offer will reflect the extraordinary losses that are piling up now."
No further talks have been scheduled.
After two days of making some progress on salary cap issues, the two sides brought the revenue split back into the discussion Friday and promptly got stuck on both issues.
Stern said the NBA owners were "willing" to go to 50 per cent. But he said Hunter was unwilling to "go a penny below 52," that he had been getting many calls from agents and then walked out of the room.
Hunter said the league initially moved its target down to 47 per cent during Friday's six-hour session then returned to its previous proposal of 50 per cent of revenues.
"We made a lot of concessions, but unfortunately at this time it's not enough, and we're not prepared or unable at this time to move any further," Hunter said.
Union president Fisher said it was difficult to say why talks broke down, or when they would start up again.
"We're here, we've always been here, but today just wasn't the day to try and finish this out," he said.
Fisher said there were still too many system restrictions in the owners' proposal. Players want to keep a system similar to the old one, and fear owners' ideas would limit player movement.
And though they might be inclined to give up one if they received more concessions on the other, players make it sound as if they are the ones doing all the giving back.
The old cap system allowed teams to exceed it through the use of a number of exceptions, many of which the league wants to tweak or even eliminate. Hunter has called a hard cap a "blood issue" to players, and though the league has backed off its initial proposal calling for one, players think the changes owners want would work like one.
-- The Associated Press