POSTED: Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 10:41pm
NBA players are locked out, possibly jeopardizing next season. Union chief Billy Hunter said Thursday afternoon that owners had locked out the players after failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday, the NBA and its players could not close the enormous gap that remained in their positions. The CBA was due to expire at midnight.
All league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday, and games eventually could be lost, too. The last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to just a 50-game schedule, the only time the NBA missed games for a work stoppage.
The NBA reported that it has lost millions in every season of this CBA, since its ratification in 2005. League officials also stated that 22 of the 30 teams would lose money. The NBA projected $300 million in losses this season and past season.
Players, who previously offered to reduce their salaries by $500 million over five years, considered the owners' proposal for a "flex" cap, where each team would be targeted to spend $62 million, a hard cap. Although the league said total player compensation would never dip below $2 billion over the life of its proposed. The NBA owners and NBA Players Association plan to meet again in the next two to three weeks.