NBA Ready To Move Ahead With Replacement Refs

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NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA will begin training replacement referees next week after discussions broke down with its referee union over a new contract.

The NBA did not say in a statement Friday where the training camp would be conducted or who will be invited. It also did not say whether the NBA planned to resume contract discussions.

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

NBA general counsel Rick Buchanan said the union "has ignores the economic realities, rejected our offer, and left us with no choice but to begin using replacement referees."