The NBA officially locked out its players as of 12:00 am Friday when the league’s collective bargaining agreement expired. The expected long-term dispute will mark the second lockout in professional sports this year, as the NFL has been negotiating since the beginning of its work stoppage back in March.
“We had a great year in terms of the appreciation of our fans for our game,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “It just wasn’t a profitable one for the owners, and it wasn’t one that many of the smaller market teams particularly enjoyed or felt included in. The goal here has been to make the league profitable and to have a league where all 30 teams can compete.”
NBA Owners had reportedly lost hundreds of millions of dollars under the most recent CBA, which activated in 2005. League officials said 22 of the 30 teams will continue to lose money if no changes are made. Players do not seem open to contract adjustments despite the league’s overall struggles. “We’re going to stand up for what we have to do, no matter how long it’s going to take,” said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. “No matter how long the lockout’s going to take, we’re going to stand up. We’re not going to give in.” Check back for additional NBA off-season updates.