NBA lockout to be official Thursday night


According to multiple reports, the NBA will lock out its players at 11 pm CST Thursday. 
The long-anticipated decision was made following a last-gasp meeting in New York Thursday, at which no progress was reportedly made in ongoing labor negotiations.
Primary sticking points in the dispute between the league and the NBA's players association include the division of basketball-related income and the proposed implementation of a hard salary cap in some form.
According to Union Chief Billy Hunter, the players association does not immediately plan to decertify, a tactic previously used by the NFL players association in their similar circumstances.
The two parties are expected to reconvene in two weeks.
During the lockout, players won't have access to team facilities and organizations won't be able to have contact with players -- the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas has already been canceled -- meaning newly-drafted players don't have the benefit of participating in teams' summer programs.
Most NBA players are paid during the season -- some, however, receive paychecks over a 12-month period and wouldn't be compensated during the lockout -- leading to the theory that a sense of urgency won't develop until the fall, when training camp would typically start.
The last NBA lockout affected the 1998-99 season, shortening the campaign to only 50 games after an agreement was finally reached in January 1999, resulting a shortened training camp, fewer practices and more back-to-back games.
With the lockout approaching, a flurry of transactions have occurred since last week's NBA Draft -- for example, the Bulls picking up Taj Gibson's fourth-year option, although the team faced a July 1 deadline to make that move, regardless of the labor situation -- whether for bookkeeping purposes or to conduct league business, such as trades, extending qualifying offers to players in the final year of their contracts, making them restricted free agents, and either players or teams exercising option clauses in contracts.
During the last lockout, teams were granted short extensions in the latter set circumstances, which could apply in the case of Bulls shooting guard Keith Bogans, who has a team option for the 2011-12 season.

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