NEW YORK (AP)— Union chief Billy Hunter says “it’s obvious the lockout will happen tonight” after players and owners failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, potentially putting the 2011-12 season in jeopardy.
Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday, the sides could not close the enormous gap that remained in their positions.READ MORE: Thousands Of LAUSD Students Still Unvaccinated As Deadline Nears
“The gap is too great,” Hunter said.
The CBA expires at midnight, after which all league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday.
Hunter said he hoped the two sides would meet again in the next two weeks.READ MORE: Man Killed, 2 Women Wounded In Shooting In Bellflower Smoke Shop
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.
“We tried to avoid the lockout,” union executive committee member Matt Bonner said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t reach a deal.”
The NFL has already locked out its players, and the two sides have been in discussions this week, trying to work toward a new deal.MORE NEWS: Magnitude-3.6 Earthquake Rattles San Gabriel Mountains North Of Rancho Cucamonga
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)