NBA lockout seems certain

In the same week that news came out the NFL and the NFLPA engaged in positive talks about the Collective Bargaining Agreement, news in NBA circles is that things aren't so positive.

The NFL and the CBA has dominated the headlines as the threat of no football in 2011 has seemed like more than just a threat. Now word comes from NBA Players Association President Billy Hunter that he's "99 percent sure" there will be a lockout next summer.

Hunter added that he is preparing for a lockout because he doesn't "see anything else right now."

The NBA's current CBA expires as soon as the 2010-11 season ends. The New York Times reports that negotiations are non existent and no future meetings have been scheduled.

Owners are asking for a reduction in player salaries, contract lengths, guarantees and raises while also being in favor of a rookie scale. The Times report says the NBA is calling for a reduction of between $700 and $800 million in player salary costs and a hard salary cap.  

Meanwhile, in this poor economy the league says it has seen record TV ratings as well as an increase and ticket sales (ticket prices have reportedly fallen for the second straight season). 

"Right now they're being unreasonable and I can't tell you when reason's going to set in," Hunter said of the league.

I'm certainly not going to pretend to know the economics of the CBA — I'm a liberal arts guy — but here's another good breakdown of it all. I can tell you I think it's going to happen, and the NBA will take a big hit from a fan perspective.

The NFL is everything right now with college football's regular season just about over, baseball and NASCAR's season having come to an end and college basketball just getting into first gear. So a story about the NBA locking out its players seven months from now might not be in the forefront, but it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Because if the two sides don't come to an agreement I am not sure how many eyes will return to watch post lockout.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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