Lockout Update: Progress Stalls, Season Now Cancelled Through Nov. 30

Lockout Update: Progress Stalls, Season Now Cancelled Through Nov. 30

So much for that "sound bargaining strategy."

After talks finally looked to be heading in a positive direction after multiple day-long meetings, commissioner David Stern announced Friday evening that the 2011-2012 season has been cancelled through November 30th. Any of the hope generated earlier this week that league might find a way to conduct a full 82-game season is now officially squashed.

Negotiations were reported to be progressing rapidly when both sides opted to table the ever-troublesome issue of basketball related income (BRI) in favor of working on "system issues"—the salary cap, its relevant exceptions, the luxury tax, etc.

Unfortunately, once all the system issues were settled, and the issue of BRI was again raised, the owners and players found themselves at the same impasse they have been unable to overcome since July 1.

As is always the case (and highly amusing) in situations such as these, the two sides offer markedly divergent stories. Stern and the owners are telling the media that, given the new system adjustments, they were willing to drop their BRI share to 47%, while Billy Hunter insists that was never the case, and that the owners still want too large a share of the BRI given what the players have already ceded under the new system adjustments.

Regardless of which story is true, it is clear that Hunter was the one to ultimately walk away from the bargaining table on Friday, after commenting earlier in the week that he was available for discussion at any time.

Given the month needed between the signing of a new CBA and the start of basketball, the owners and players now have just a few weeks before their prized Christmas Day games go the way of the first month of the season.

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

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Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.