Out of Time: NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of Season

Out of Time: NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of Season

Say goodbye to the first two weeks of the NBA regular season.

On the 102nd day of the lockout, owners and players failed to reach any sort of solution that would allow the season to start on time. The news comes less than one week after the cancellation of the league's preseason schedule. This is the first time the NBA has had to cancel any portion of its season since 1998, when a similar work stoppage ultimately resulted in a 50-game schedule.

Though the two sides indeed participated in a last-ditch effort on Sunday and Monday to possibly avoid this scenario, the Association will nonetheless be absent from our usual sporting lives come November 1, the season's previously scheduled starting date.

The dispute largely revolves around the sharing of Basketball Related Income (BRI) and the potential overhauling of the players' salary structure.

Starting with BRI, the players currently receive 57% of all basketball related income, leaving the owners, of course, with the remaining 43%. While the players appear willing to come down to a 53-47 share, the owners are now reportedly working toward a 50-50 split, even if they were publicly denying it earlier in the week.

If the gap between the sides appears relatively small—just 3%—remember that, much like in the case of the NFL lockout, each one of those individual percentage points is actually worth a huge sum of money. That 3% by itself is reportedly valued at a total of $120 million, with the entire BRI estimated at a staggering $4 billion per season. Though it's not quite the NFL's $9 billion annual haul, it's not too bad either.

On top of the struggle over BRI, the players are potentially staring at a complete overhaul of their salary structure, specifically the implementation of a "hard cap" and a mandatory shortening of guaranteed contracts. It remains unclear as to exactly how and when the new system would actually be implemented, and what effect, in any, it would have on the players' current deals.

While the BRI has been the point of focus over the past few months, it has taken a back seat over the last two days to the subject of the new salary cap and its related complications—specific exceptions, the luxury tax, etc. As for the first of those examples, David Aldridge reported Monday that the league is nearing an agreement on a new, but reduced version of the mid-level exception—a salary cap evading instrument that allows teams already, or nearly, over the cap to sign free agents at a number tied to the league's average salary, a figure of $5.8 million per season in 2010.

If there is good news for the union, it's that commissioner David Stern and the owners have appeared possibly willing to soften their stance on just how "hard" the cap would be in relation to the current system, a fact already evidenced by the probable inclusion of the mid-level exception in the new CBA. The 50-50 split, on the other hand, is being advertised as considerably less negotiable.

The bad news for both parties is that every month the league goes without a new agreement, both sides—the players and the owners—stand to lose a whole lot of cash. From NBA.com:

The cost of cancellations would be staggering. Silver said the league would lose hundreds of millions of dollars, while Hunter estimated players' losses at $350 million for each month they were locked out.

As for the lockout's immediate impact on your Philadelphia 76ers, the team was scheduled for eight games over the now-cancelled span of time. Five of those eight contests would have seen the team on the road, including a three-game trip to the west coast. The team will now miss its 11/2-16 dates at Toronto, versus Minnesota, at Orlando, versus Houston, versus Milwaukee, at Los Angeles (Clippers), at Portland and at Golden State.

A timetable for further talks has yet to be announced, though as Stern was quoted following the completion of Monday night's meetings, "With every day that goes by, there will be further reductions on what's left of the season."

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Markelle Fultz quietly shows growth as Sixers plan to expand his role

Markelle Fultz quietly shows growth as Sixers plan to expand his role

Things weren’t going well for Markelle Fultz in his home debut.

Fultz missed all three of his shot attempts after entering the game in the first quarter. Two of those were blocked, with one a filthy snuff on a layup by the man he will be connected to forever: Jayson Tatum.

In between misfires, the No. 1 overall pick committed two personal fouls. The second came on a three-point shot by Terry Rozier III.

After 4:34 of action, Fultz slinked his way back to the bench.

And then a literal weight was lifted off his ailing shoulder.

Fultz returned to the court late in the second and immediately went on the attack. He drove right to the rim on Tatum and forced a foul.

That meant the 19-year-old with the banged-up right shoulder had to step to the free throw line and show off that oft-criticized shooting form.

Splash. Splash.

The points elicited a roar from the crowd and even a slight reaction from Fultz.

“Just a little smile at the fans. I saw somebody on the baseline just looking, so I just smiled,” Fultz said.

“It’s something I’ve been working on to get through this, so I was happy.”

Happy, but not content.

From that moment, Fultz looked like a different player. Not statistically as he finished with just six points on 2 for 9 shooting with three rebounds, one assist and one steal in the Sixers102-92 loss in their home opener.

However, the guard played with more energy on both ends of the court. He continued to drive hard to the basket offensively while he fought through screens and battled bigger bodies on D.

“I think I have a lot to improve on, but I also think I’m learning each night I come out and taking baby steps to improve on the stuff I did last game,” Fultz said. “I think I’m in a pretty good spot, but I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

One thing the team has learned so far is to get Fultz coming off more screens at the top of the key. Sixers head coach Brett Brown liked what he saw when Fultz had the ball in his hands with the reserves and was able to get downhill in a hurry off pick plays.

“I think it’s going to be something where we put him in more pick-and-rolls to try to get him more in the middle of the floor,” Brown said. “How we do that, I see it quite clearly. I think lately just trying to get him up and down the floor and get his fitness base and find some level of confidence has been most on my mind. But I agree with you, he has a skill that we have to tap into.”

“I’m just working on being wherever I need to be to help this team win,” Fultz said. “Pick-and-roll is one of the things I feel like I’m good at, so if that’s helping the team win I’m going to go do it.”

But that doesn’t mean Fultz is about to go rogue and start calling his own number all the time. Despite being the top pick in June’s draft, he knows this team’s engine starts with Joel Embiid, particularly when the big man is in the paint.

“If he’s in the game and he’s in the post, get him the ball,” Fultz said. “Whether I’m off the ball to screen away. If I’ve got the ball in my hands, find him. Whenever he’s on the floor we’ve got to find a way to get him the ball. He’s a great passer, so he’s going to draw a lot of attention. Any time he’s in there we have to get him the ball.”

A nodding Embiid agreed from a few feet away at his own locker.

“He’s right,” the big man said between bites of an apple. “That’s the right answer.”

The rookie is a fast learner.