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NBA Lockout: Union Boss Billy Hunter Expects To Lose Entire Season

While the NFL was able to solve their labor issues without losing a single meaningful game, it is looking more and more like the NBA has no chance of having the same luck. 

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter told an American Bar Association conference this week that his money is on the entire 2011-12 season being lost.

"We're $800 million apart per year," Hunter said. 

Another big problem is NBA commissioner David Stern being held back by certain hard-line owners.

"The circumstances have changed among his constituency," said Hunter.  "In the last six or seven years, there is a new group of owners to come in who paid a premium for their franchises, and what they're doing is kind of holding his feet to the fire."

You can be sure that neither New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov or New York Knicks owner James Dolan are among that group.  Both are happy to spend whatever necessary to put a winning product on the court and the Knicks have no problem selling out their building.  The Nets, on the other hand, hope to be facing the that same situation in 2012 when the Barclays Center opens in Brooklyn.

It's that final season in Newark that is the only reason Prokhorov might not mind the NBA sitting out for a season.  Sure, you lose a chance to add extra pieces to put around impending free agent PG Deron Williams throughout the season, but it allows the team to focus on the move to Brooklyn without losing money playing to empty seats at the Prudential Center.

Even if both owners do want basketball back for the 2011-12 season, Hunter was pretty clear in his response when asked if that would happen.

"If I had to bet on it at this moment, I would probably say no."