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Nets Concerned as Lockout Looms

As both the NBA and its players association issued ominous warnings about contract talks Friday, Devin Harris and Joe Smith were quoted saying they fear a work stoppage would hurt not just them but the NBA and the game.

"That’s not a situation we want to be in," Harris said discussing the 1999 lockout. "Nobody wants a work stoppage because we all saw what happened last time there was a lockout. But this is a big business, so there are negotiations involved. Everybody wants something. Something has to give."

"Hopefully, there won’t be a lockout, because the last time we had one, I remember that it was very tough for all of us to recover from," said Smith.

David Stern said league owners want a one-third giveback on salaries and suggested the league could even contract--lose a few teams--to better its financial situation.  The players association noted that it was the owners who gave out the big contracts, and pointed to the big bucks new owners--including Mikhail Prokhorov--have paid for NBA teams recently.