NBA Wipes Out Exhibition Slate

Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prays, at the grave of the late revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, shown in the picture, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006.

The possibility of the NBA losing regular-season games due to labor problems for the first time in history is another step closer to reality as the league canceled its remaining 114 preseason games.

The NBA made the announcement Monday as the two sides have failed to make any progress in settling the lockout, which was imposed by the owners on July 1. The NBA canceled preseason games on Sept. 10 and then the referee training camp and rookie transition program five days later. On Sept. 24, the NBA canceled training camps and began canceling preseason games.

The league also said that any decisions about the cancellation of regular-season games are expected to be made next week.

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"At this point, our teams cannot possibly be ready to play any games before November," said NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik in a statement released by the league. "It's sad that we have been unable to have any meaningful negotiations."

The two sides are not expected to meet again until Thursday in New York. Both sides are awaiting the ruling of arbitrator John Feerick on a grievance filed by the NBA Players Association hours before the owners imposed the lockout.

The union claims NBA players have guaranteed contracts that should allow them to be paid during the lockout. The NBA contends its actions are entirely legal during a work stoppage.

"Last year, the players received about $1 billion in salaries and benefits, and we have made proposals that are guaranteed to increase that number by 20 percent over the next four years," Granik's statement continued. "Our proposals would result in an average player salary of $3.1 million and a minimum salary for 10-year veterans of $750,000. Unfortunately, the union leadership has been unwilling to give any serious consideration to what we have offered."

Initial bargaining sessions were contentious and featured little progress.

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