(Reuters) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) has cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season after the league owners and players were unable to resolve a bitter labor dispute on Monday.
The decision, confirmed by NBA commissioner David Stern, was made after both parties failed to draw up 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.
Players Association (NBPA) president Derek Fisher, of the Lakers, said the move was not a surprise.