NBA owners voted on Thursday to impose a lockout of its players as the clock strikes midnight on July 1st.
“Needless to say, we’re disappointed that this is where we find ourselves,” said deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
Despite several meetings over the last few weeks, the two sides remain separated by several billion dollars.
“We’re going to continue to negotiate, we’ve already agreed,” Billy Hunter said. “That was sort of the closing agreement up there, that we would not let the imposition of a lockout stop us from meeting.”
Despite annual revenue of about $3.8 billion, N.B.A. officials say the existing system is broken, with 22 of 30 teams losing money, and league-wide losses exceeding $300 million a year. Silver said the owners wanted a system in which “all 30 teams could compete for a championship” and have “the opportunity to be profitable.”
Stern warned that there is no telling how long a lockout might last.
“I’m not scared,” Stern said. “I’m resigned to the potential damage that it can cause to our league” and to the people who make their living in and around the N.B.A. He added: “As we get deeper into it, these things have a capacity to take on a life of their own. You never can predict what will happen.”