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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Now Basketball? Players Fear Owners Will Lock Them Out

LOS ANGELES -- The gates are closed at U.S. Major League Baseball parks, the NHL season is in jeopardy, and salary-cap issues now cloud the NBA's future.

The prevailing mood of hard-line stands on salary caps may carry over into the NBA, players' union chief Charles Grantham said Tuesday, adding that a lockout would not surprise him. There is no current labor contract in the NBA, and owners reportedly are considering a lockout if an agreement is not reached by Thanksgiving. They want to make the league's salary cap less flexible, a move opposed by the players.

Russ Granik, the NBA's deputy commissioner, told The New York Times that there is no immediate cause for alarm and that he has heard no talk of a lockout.

Grantham, however, said the mood in sports labor negotiations now seems to be pervasive."When you start looking at that kind of environment, in football, baseball, hockey and basketball, it doesn't surprise me that (NBA) owners would be floating the rumor of a potential lockout," Grantham, in Los Angeles for meetings, said by telephone.

"Our discussions with our player reps clearly made them aware of this possibility some time ago. ... I would not be surprised if a lockout were to occur, based on their (owners') behavior at this point."

The league, however, has stated that it is premature to talk about such an action, since there are six weeks remaining to work out an agreement before the start of the season.