When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday, July 1, the NBA will begin a lockout on its players, marking the second time a North American sports league has shut out its players in 2011. The NFL imposed a lockout on its players in the middle of March and is soon to complete its fourth month.
When the NBA announced this, deputy commissioner Adam Silver said:
"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams," said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable."
What exactly are the two sides fighting over? Money, generally. Specifically there are several issues. In no particular order, the first issue is over player salaries. The NBA wants to decrease salaries by a total of $750 million each year, the players by $500 million over five years. This is a non-starter for the league.
The owners want a hard salary cap and have offered a cap upwards of $62 million, but the players are set against a ceiling. And just as in the NFL lockout, the NBA and the players are fighting over revenue splits. Currently the players receive 57 percent of basketball revenue, which the owners have reportedly offered to reduce to 40 percent.
While the NBA Players Association plans to remain in place (i.e., not decertify as the NFLPA did) and continue negotiations with the league, both sides are digging in for the long haul. It could be Armageddon for the 2011-12 season.
For in-depth coverage visit our SB Nation StoryStream on the NBA Lockout.