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Refs reject NBA's final contract offer

Updated: September 18, 2009, 10:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The NBA will hold training camp next week with replacement officials, saying the referees union has rejected its final contract offer.

The National Basketball Referees Association has been bracing for a lockout since talks first broke down last week, and lead negotiator Lamell McMorris called it "imminent and unavoidable" after no deal was reached Thursday.

A statement from the NBA on Friday made it clear the lockout was under way.

"It is extremely disappointing that ...

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