The owners of NBA teams locked out the players after the two sides failed to reach an agreement over collective bargaining rights. The lockout will take effect at midnight Friday and could jeopardize the 2011-2012. "All league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday, and games eventually could be lost, too," reports The Associated Press. "The last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to just a 50-game schedule, the only time the NBA missed games for a work stoppage."

The disagreement, of course, comes down to money. As the $4 billion professional basketball industry thrives, the NBA itself is losing over $300 million a year, and two thirds of the teams are operating in the red. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic drafted a useful explainer with the details, but the general thrust seems to break down to a simple split. Quoth Thompson, "The owners want more money … The players want more money, too."