Refs' Spokesman Says Lockout Appears Imminent

By  | 

NEW YORK (AP) - The lead negotiator and spokesman for the NBA's referees union says a lockout appears "imminent and unavoidable" following the latest breakdown in talks.

Lamell McMorris says the officials made another $1 million in concessions in a proposal Thursday, but believes it's evident the league is not interested in further discussions. The officials then headed home after spending the last 24 hours meeting in Chicago.

The contract between the NBA and its officials expired Sept. 1 and the sides have been trying to reach a new two-year deal. McMorris said they largely agree on salaries, but the union has balked at the league's attempt to change retirement benefits.

Without a new deal, replacement officials will be used when preseason play opens Oct. 1.