The NBA canceled the remainder of the preseason Tuesday after talks broke off between the two sides in New York. Commissioner David Stern then set a deadline of Monday for a deal to get done or the first two weeks of the regular season will become the next casualty.
For the Dallas Mavericks, it would mean MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls' lone trip to the American Airlines Center on opening night (Nov. 1) would be wiped out. So would one of just two visits by Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Nov. 5) as well as the Memphis Grizzlies' first trip to town (Nov. 11). Road games at San Antonio (Nov. 4), Toronto (Nov. 7) and New Jersey (Nov. 9) would also be trashed.
But, back to the preseason. Had there been no lockout or at least a quick solution, the Mavs might have been making plans to spend the afternoon of Oct. 21 at the White House for their championship visit. The Mavs were supposed to be Washington D.C. that night to face the Wizards in a preseason game. Of course, as the lockout dragged on there were no plans made for the big event for obvious reasons.
It certainly would be a shame if the lockout ruined any chance for the Mavs to pose with President Obama. The regular-season schedule has the Mavs playing at the Wizards on Jan. 10, the first night of a scheduled back-to-back that finishes in Boston.
There's some cushion there, but the way the labor negotiations are going there is certainly no guarantee that a deal will be done in time to save that portion of the season, and a well-earned visit with the President.