Hunter: Cancelling Games Part of Script
On the sidewalk out on 63rd Street, sirens wailing and knucklehead cameramen jostling for position and cursing each other, here was Billy Hunter living in his own movie. Regular-season games lost on his watch, and on David Stern’s, just as they’d discussed two years ago.
“It goes back to a comment that David said to me several years ago, when he said this is what my owners have to have,” Hunter said Monday night, after the first two weeks of the 2011-12 NBA regular season were canceled. “And I said, ‘Well, the only way you’re going to get that is, you prepare to lock us out for a year or two.’ And he’s indicated to me that they’re willing to do it. So my belief and contention is that everything that he’s done has demonstrated that he’s following that script.”
The script, written in red ink because it all came back to the so-called “blood issue” of hard salary-cap concepts Monday night, will be one neither side wants to remember. And it was amazing to watch how everyone snapped back so violently to two-year-old rhetoric, fell so easily into old habits. The hours upon hours, the days upon days of meetings, negotiations, concepts, ideas, blah, blah, blah … it all went up in smoke on 63rd Street Monday — the jackhammers rattling and sirens wailing and knucklehead cameramen finally squaring off and fighting in the street.
“I’m not surprised, because as I’ve indicated to you, based upon representations that were made to me earlier in discussions that David and I had, I’m convinced that this was just all part of the plan,” Hunter said.