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Lockout Looming?

Interesting take on the potential for a lockout in a few years:

The NBA has to decide by Dec. 15, 2010, whether to extend the collective-bargaining agreement through the 2011-12 season. If not extended, it expires June 30, 2011.

With the economy in shambles, teams are watching profits fall off faster than Allen Iverson's game. When they have a chance, NBA owners are expected to want to continue to reel in bloating salaries and try to steer the NBA closer toward a hard salary cap.

"If the economy doesn't turn in two years, there's definitely going to be a lockout because everybody is taking a hit in this recession," Jackson said. "The owners are definitely going to want to make some cutbacks, and the players aren't going to want to make the cutbacks.

"But I think we have to put our differences aside and say what's best, and that's playing this game and giving fans what they want and not being selfish."

You can see now why it was wise for LeBron, Bosh, and Wade to build in options to become free agents before the CBA expired.  They want to lock in a big paycheck before the rules change.

The optimist in me hopes the economy has turned around by that point.  However, if it hasn't, I don't think the Players Association is going to get much sympathy from the average fan.  I know the owners are rich too, but the money to pay these guys ultimately comes from you and me.

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