Is the NBA season in jeopardy?

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Is the NBA season in jeopardy?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Unable to reach a deal, NBA owners and players walked away from the table and don't know when they will meet again. If it's not in the next few days, they can forget about playing 82 games. Without an agreement by Monday, the beginning of the regular season will be canceled, and both sides will lose millions of dollars and perhaps countless fans. "We're ready to meet and discuss any subject anyone wants to talk about," Commissioner David Stern said. "We'd like not to lose the first two weeks of the season, but it doesn't look good." Though the financial gap closed slightly, once the players' association said it wouldn't entertain the idea of a 50-50 revenue split, the league canceled the remainder of the preseason Tuesday and will wipe out the first two weeks of the regular season if there is no labor agreement by Monday. "We were not able to make the progress that we hoped we could make and we were not able to continue the negotiations," Stern said after nearly four hours of talks between owners and players ended without gaining ground on a new deal. No further meetings are scheduled -- union executive director Billy Hunter said it could be a month or two until the next one -- making it even more likely the league will lose games to a work stoppage for the first time since 1998-99, when the season was reduced to 50 games. Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said owners offered players a 50-50 split of basketball-related income. That's still well below the 57 percent that players were guaranteed under the previous collective bargaining agreement, but more than the 47 percent union officials said was formally proposed to them. The only numbers that matter now, however, are the millions that stand to be lost when arenas go dark. "The damage will be enormous," Silver said. Players had offered to reduce their BRI guarantee to 53 percent, which they said would have given owners back more than 1 billion over six years. They say they won't cut it further, at least for now. And they insist the 50-50 concept wasn't an even split, because it would have come after the league had already deducted 350 million off the top. "Today was not the day for us to get this done," players' association president Derek Fisher said. "We were not able to get close enough to close the gap." With superstars like Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett standing behind him, Hunter said the players' proposal would have made up at least 200 million per season -- a sizable chunk of the 300 million owners said they lost last season. "Our guys have indicated a willingness to lose games," Hunter said. The sides are also still divided on the salary-cap structure. Training camps were postponed and 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9-15 were canceled on Sept. 24. Both sides said they felt pressure to work toward a deal with deadlines looming before more cancellations would be necessary. Stern said the owners had removed their demand for a hard salary cap, were no longer insisting on salary rollbacks, and would have given players the right to opt out of a 10-year agreement after seven years. But the money split was always going to be the biggest hurdle in these negotiations, with owners insistent on the ability to turn a profit after the league said 22 of its 30 teams lost money last season. "We want to and have been willing to negotiate, but we find ourselves at a point today where we in some ways anticipated or expected to be, faced with a lockout that may jeopardize portions if not all of our season," Fisher said. After hardly budging off their original proposal for 1 years, owners finally increased their offer to players from 46 to 47 percent of BRI. It was then that the top negotiators discussed the 50-50 concept, and while Stern sounded disappointed that it didn't work, Silver was more frustrated. "I am not going to get a good night sleep," he said. "After this afternoon's session, I would say I'm personally very disappointed. I thought that we should have continued negotiating today and I thought that there was potentially common ground on a 50-50 deal. I think it makes sense, it sounds like a partnership. There still would have been a lot of negotiating to do on the system elements, but I'm personally very disappointed." On what both sides stressed was an important day, the owners' entire 11-man labor relations committee came to New York to meet with 11 players. They could still work something out before Monday's deadline, but neither side sounded optimistic. "Right now, we had our committees, we gave it a really good run, and it didn't work," Stern said. Hunter said the union would hold regional meetings with its players, set up workout centers and help in other ways. And many players -- including Bryant, who has been in talks with an Italian team -- will have to decide if they want to explore playing overseas. And without a deal, the battle could go to the courts. Hunter said the union would have to consider decertification, and on Tuesday a federal court judge scheduled a hearing for Nov. 2 to hear arguments in the league's lawsuit against the players seeking a declaration that the lockout doesn't violate antitrust laws. All things both sides hoped to avoid Tuesday. "It wasn't to be, and we don't have any plans right now," Stern said.

Preview: White Sox-Tigers doubleheader today on CSN

Preview: White Sox-Tigers doubleheader today on CSN

The White Sox take on the Detroit Tigers on Saturday in a doubleheader, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. The second game is scheduled after the conclusion of the first. Be sure to stick around after the final out of the second game to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchups: Derek Holland vs. Buck Farmer for Game 1, and Tyler Danish vs. Michael Fulmer for Game 2.

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

Avisail Garcia busts out of mini-slump in White Sox win

Avisail Garcia busts out of mini-slump in White Sox win

Avisail Garcia’s longest mini-slump of the season ended against his former team on Friday night.

Guessing nobody in Detroit is surprised. Same group probably isn’t overly shocked by Mike Pelfrey’s performance, either.

Both players came back to haunt their former team on a lengthy, rainy day as Garcia’s three-run double put Pelfrey ahead for good. Pelfrey escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and his offense erupted late as the White Sox toppled the Detroit Tigers 8-2 in front of 17,842 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Pelfrey allowed two runs (one earned) and Matt Davidson and Melky Cabrera both homered as the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak. The teams canceled the opening game of a doubleheader and sat through an 85-minute rain delay before playing the nightcap. The doubleheader was rescheduled for Saturday and both games will be on CSN.

“I have a lot of respect for those guys,” Pelfrey said. “Those guys were great. You make friendships and you have to compete against them. It makes it tough but it’s part of the game.

The first time I faced them I put my hat down and tried not to look at them or make eye contact and try to get guys out. Make pitches.

“Luckily it worked out today.”

There was nothing lucky about Garcia’s third-inning, go-ahead double. Garcia had gone hitless in 13 at-bats dating back to his final plate appearance in Saturday night’s blowout win over Seattle. The four games without a hit (he was intentionally walked in his only plate appearance Tuesday) is the longest Garcia has gone without a knock in what has begun to look like a breakout season.

Part of the stretch could be attributed to flu-like symptoms Garcia felt throughout the previous series which resulted in him being scratched from Tuesday’s starting lineup — “in Arizona it was really, really bad,” he said.

Despite still feeling the lingering effects, Garcia came through yet again. With the bases loaded and two outs, Garcia ripped a 1-0 changeup from Detroit’s Tyler Boyd into the left-field corner to score all three runners and give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Cabrera and Jose Abreu both singled with two outs and Todd Frazier walked ahead of the double, which exited Garcia’s bat at 114.5 mph, the 24th hardest-hit ball this season in the majors, according to BaseballSavant.com.

Garcia also bounced a pair of singles through the left side to finish 3-for-5. Acquired from the Tigers in July 2013 as part of the three-way deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, Garcia is slashing .295/.338/.481 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs against his former team in 228 plate appearances.

“I see them like another team, you know,” Garcia said. “My job is to try to help my team win.

“I was just trying not to do too much, I’m trying to see the ball and put a good swing on it. I think that’s it. Don’t try to do too much because sometimes when I’m trying to do too much or trying to hit it over the wall my face goes quick so I don’t see the ball really well.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Why Jim Callis thinks Luis Robert is going to have a gigantic impact on White Sox]

Seems like Abreu has seen everything thrown his way recently. He extended his hitting streak to seven games with three singles, all of which were rockets off the bat, and finished 3-for-5.

Cabrera has also begun to heat up. His two-out RBI single in the sixth and three-run homer in the eighth provided the White Sox with plenty of margin for error. Cabrera finished 3-for-5.

Davidson’s homer in the sixth inning, his ninth, made it a 4-2 game. He finished with two hits for the White Sox, who had 14.

Pelfrey looked good in a second straight start. He followed up a six-inning effort at Seattle by limiting a Detroit lineup sans Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera to four hits. Pelfrey walked one and struck out seven in an 86-pitch performance.

That included a fourth-inning escape from a one-out jam with the bases loaded. Pelfrey got the first out when Davidson threw home to cut down J.D. Martinez. Abreu also forced a runner out at the plate on John Hicks’ grounder and Pelfrey induced an Andrew Romine comebacker to complete the escape.

Pelfrey went 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) for Detroit in 2016 and was in the final season of a two-year, $16-million deal when they released him on March 30. The White Sox signed the veteran right-hander to a minor-league deal on April 5. He improved to 2-4 and lowered his ERA to 4.41.

Chris Beck, Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle and Gregory Infante combined for four scoreless innings to close it out.

“Any time you can get a win and, I guess, sit around for 12 hours or however long it’s been,” Pelfrey said. “It’s always good to come out on top.

“I’d like to have gone a little deeper, but the bullpen did a great job like always. Melky, big hit. And Avisail, pretty big hit there in the third.

“Pretty good team win.”