Orlando Magic player rep won’t predict whether NBA season will start on time
September 21, 2011, 4:01 am
Chris Duhon, the Orlando Magic’s representative to the National Basketball Players Association, isn’t ready to predict whether the 2011-12 NBA regular season will start on time.
“Obviously, there’s a standstill going on, and there’s major points that we’re not going to give up on, and there’s major points that the owners are not going to give up on,” said Duhon, who attended last Thursday’s union meeting in Las Vegas and regularly updates his teammates on the status of the ongoing negotiations.
“The good thing is that now we’re actually trying to communicate. Now, there’s communication. Obviously, the time is getting shorter and shorter, and nobody wants to miss games. So now we’re communicating a little bit, but at the same time, at the end, we’ve got to know that the players, we’re prepared. We’ve been prepared for two years. We’ve been prepared for two years to sit out a year or maybe two.”
The NBA lockout, which completed its 81st full day Monday, shows few signs of letting up. A key negotiating session last Tuesday ended after league owners would not agree to keep the current salary-cap system, which allows teams to go over the cap figure if they meet certain exceptions.
The regular season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1. The Magic are slated to open their season on Nov. 2 against the Charlotte Bobcats at Amway Center.
Magic guard J.J. Redick doesn’t think the season will start on time.
“My opinion doesn’t mean a whole lot, but no, I don’t think so,” he said.
“I am realistic. I think the reality is it’s going to be a little while longer. If that ‘little while’ is six weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks, I don’t know. But I’m definitely thinking that we’re going to get a deal done.”
Despite the lockout, Magic players who are in Central Florida are supposed to get together this week at an undisclosed location to lift weights, shoot baskets and run up and down the court.
The team is scheduled to hold its first training-camp practice on Oct. 4 and open its preseason exhibition schedule on Oct. 9 at Amway Center.