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This NBA lockout is pretty serious. The owners association is so bitter that they removed the players' images from the NBA website. If you go to the NBA profile for any player it takes you straight to the NBA lockout page. They mean business.
The collective bargaining agreement expired late last week and after 3 hours of negotiations the players association told the owners to "start from scratch" which just means they got no where.
This is tough for everyone: players, the league and the fans. Unlike the NFL, the NBA has multiple teams that aren't profitable. Nowadays you can see an NBA game for some teams under $10 dollars. Teams are feeling the economic pressure. Last year the owners cited a combine loss of $300 million with 22 out of 30 teams in the red.
The owners want to help these teams out because they are unable to afford talent like the bigger markets (cough, Miami, cough). A harder salary cap will also be placed to help teams afford talent (similar to the NFL and NHL). The idea is to balance the talent in the league and give the smaller market teams a chance to win instead of getting run off the court by every "big whatever" in the league (for a look at the discrepancy in ticket demand, check out the graph below). I could write an essay on this but I won't bore you. If you are interested though go to the NBA's website.
This is the first time in history that two major sports have been in a lockout at the same time. If neither season happens (HIGHLY UNLIKELY) it will be detrimental to all.
Image via Flickr user ericrichardson