With the NBA owners and players' union failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement during last week's crucial sessions, the league is set to cancel at least two more weeks of the 2011-12 season on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. On the bright side, it appears that commissioner David Stern will not cancel all regular-season games through Christmas Day, although you can never be too sure.
Heading into last week's meetings, Stern told various media outlets that his "gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day" unless significant progress towards a deal was made. The two sides met for three straight days (Oct. 18-20) in New York, but talks broke off when the owners gave the players an ultimatum to accept a 50-50 split of basketball-related income in order to continue labor talks, union officials said.
"We were trying to look over the impact of a long-term deal and we could see our way in a 50 percent deal," deputy commissioner Adam Silver said last week. "They made a slight move from 53 to 52.5 percent. That's where we broke off."
While the expected cancellations would increase the disappointment for basketball-deprived fans, as Stern and union president Derek Fisher have said throughout this process, the calendar is not their friend. However, it's still unclear when both sides will resume negotiations.
For the Bulls, the NBA's expected announcement Tuesday would mean the loss of their annual circus trip -- which was scheduled to last eight games, from Nov. 13-26, featuring road games against Washington, Portland, Phoenix, the L.A. Clippers, Utah, Denver, Indiana and Milwaukee -- and a Nov. 30 home game vs. San Antonio.
The Bulls were supposed to open up the season in Dallas Nov. 1, but it was wiped out on Oct. 10 when Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season.
Derrick Rose makes trip to Hawaii: In Hawaii for a USO tour, Bulls guard Derrick Rose and a group of NBA players are scheduled to play in two exhibition games with service men and women on Tuesday and Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Joining Rose are players such as Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson, Hawks center Al Horford and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, among others.
You can check out below a picture that was posted on Twitter by Horford of himself, Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez and Rose.
In addition to participating in this USO tour, Rose is among the NBA superstars who are being mentioned as a part of a potential six-game, four-continent exhibition tour, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher. Details and arrangements are reportedly still being finalized for the world tour, which is scheduled to kick off on Sunday in Puerto Rico.
Although Rose has been reluctant to participate in pickup games during the league-imposed lockout -- having only played in a pair of games in the Philippines in July -- his brother, Reggie Rose, told reporters on Oct. 15 the reigning league MVP would play in exhibition games for the right price.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that payment for participation in the world tour ranges from a six-figure salary to $1 million.
Guaranteed money is always hard to pass up, especially with the NBA in the midst of a lockout, but it would not surprise me if Rose stays put and continues to train in Los Angeles following the USO tour.