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NBA owners lock out players over new CBA

07-01-2011 15:57 BJT

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You can make it two major North American sports leagues that are now dealing with major labour strife. The NFL and it's players have been at it for a while and now the NBA is following suit. The NBA owners have locked out their players after last-ditch negotiations for a new labor deal collapsed, sending the league into its first work stoppage in 13 years.

Following a three-hour bargaining session between the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, both sides walked away from the table far apart on several financial issues and with the players opposed to a new salary cap system.

David Stern, NBA Commissioner, said, "I don't think we're any closer, in fact it worries me that we're not closer and that we've spent all this time trying to get closer. We have a huge philosophical divide -- the players' perspective as enunciated by their economist is 'You've been happy losing money, you should continue to lose money.'"

The lockout, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, threatens the start of the 2011-12 season in late October and marks the NBA's first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season.

Stern believes that while the lock-out will hurt the game and all of the people involved, it was a necessary step.

David Stern, NBA Commissioner, said, "It's with some sadness that we're going to recommend this to the committee because this is, a lock-out has a very large impact on a lot of people - many of whom or most of whom are not associated with either side."

There is optimism however, from Derek Fisher, president of the players union. He believes an agreement will be reached before next season is affected.

Derek Fisher, President of NBA Players Union, said, "We're not done. We're not going to give up on this process. You know we're still looking forward, you know to putting in the amount of hours that it's going to take to get this deal done. We're still a long ways away but, like I said, this may essentially give us an opportunity that utilises these next few months to try and figure something out."

NBA officials have said 22 of the league's 30 clubs are losing money and that they are seeking contract changes to offset net losses.

The owners have asked for the revenue split to be 50-50, while the players reduced their counter proposal to 54.3 percent.

NBA fans are disappointed about the lockout and, as with the NFL, find it hard to believe that with so much money to go around a common ground can't be found.

Corey Wilkins, NBA Fan, said, No one's going to lose, because at the end of the day, the majority of the players in the league are making at least three million dollars per year. The average nine to five person is not making three million dollars per year. So I don't know what they're complaining about."

Currently, the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas has already been cancelled and pre-season games in Europe are off the table.

The two sides in this dispute are expected to meet again in a few weeks.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CNTV.CN

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