Basketball fans eagerly awaiting the release of the NBA schedule may want to mark up their calendars in pencil this year instead of pen.
While players spend their summers contemplating a move to play overseas and helping people perform everyday household tasks, the NBA will continue its business as usual approach and proceed with the release of the 2011-12 schedule, set to be unveiled on Tuesday.
A league official confirmed the schedule will be released at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and ESPN.com is citing sources saying the Mavericks will host the Bulls on Nov. 1, the same night Dallas raises its championship banner during a pregame ceremony. The Mavs could also make an appearance on Christmas Day as the Miami Herald is reporting a Heat-Mavericks rematch will take place in Dallas on Dec. 25.
All these games could be for naught, however, if the NBA does not resolve its labor dispute. The league entered a lockout on July 1 and the players union and the owners have yet to set a date for when labor negotiations can resume. While optimism has been growing that the NFL is close to ending its lockout, there has been no hint of similar progress by the NBA.
The schedule release date is two weeks earlier than last year, but much of that was due to the movement of free agents, such as LeBron James, to new teams. Without a collective bargaining agreement in place there have been no transactions and no need for the league to delay in releasing the schedule.
Last season, the Celtics hosted James and the Heat on Oct. 26, the league’s opening night. The C’s emerged with an 88-80 victory over Miami.