NBA lockout begins as sides fail to reach deal

(AP) - The NBA's labor deal has expired, and the leaguehas locked out its players, the second pro sports league shut downby labor strife. The

NEW YORK - (AP) - The NBA's labor deal has expired, and the leaguehas locked out its players, the second pro sports league shut downby labor strife. The collective bargaining agreement, which owners say cost themmillions of dollars a year, ended at midnight after players andowners failed to reach a new deal. Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday and a final proposal fromthe players, the sides could not close the enormous gap thatremained in their positions. In a call with the labor relations committee on Thursday,Commissioner David Stern recommended that the first lockout sincethe 1998-99 season be imposed. Teams are prohibited from having anycontact with their players.

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