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Refs lockout 'imminent and unavoidable'

Updated: September 17, 2009, 9:17 PM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com

NBA referees expected a lockout to be "imminent" after negotiations Wednesday between their union and the league failed to produce a new collective agreement.

After rejecting the league's latest offer by a vote of 57-0 at their meeting in Chicago on Wednesday night, the union and league exchanged further counterproposals Thursday, with the union claiming to have made $1 million in additional financial concessions.

But the talks ended at an impasse, and lead union negotiator Lamell ...

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