Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Nobody wants to earn the moniker of the Grinch who stole Christmas, but NBA commissioner may have done just that on Thursday.
Speaking to WFAN, Stern threatened the entire 2011 calendar season with cancellation if a new deal isn’t cut between the feuding owners and players.
“If we don’t make it on Tuesday,” Stern said, “my gut is that we won’t be playing on Christmas Day.”
The NBA has traditionally used Christmas Day games to match-up the very best teams in the league.
Last year, the NBA scheduled the Miami Heat to visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day and drew solid ratings.
Stern’s comments come just days before a federal mediator is set to get involved in the ugly collective bargaining negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Administration.
Stern had previously threatened to cancel the preseason and the first two weeks of the season if a deal hadn’t been reached at previous points; both of those threats eventually came to pass.