- Patrick Dorsey, ESPN Editor
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July 1, 1998: Be thankful, NBA fans. Sunday marks the start of free agency -- as opposed to last year, when July 1 brought a lockout, or 14 years ago, when July 1 ... also brought a lockout. The 1998 version ate 32 games for each team -- twice as many as the 2011 incident -- and forced players such as Grant Hill and Tim Duncan to get creative (in commercials, anyway) as they tried to fill their time.