It’s possible, according to this dispatch from Peter May of the website Hoops Hype:
Let’s suppose for a second that the NBA and its players each experience the proverbial ‘Come to Jesus’ moment in the next week or so and agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The 2011-12 season would then start on time, right?
Well, yes, it would. But it also could well start with plenty of unfamiliar faces on the floor. That’s because a big part of the NBA “game presentation” as David Stern likes to call it is, at present, also without a contract for next season.
That would be the 60 NBA referees.
In a ‘here we go again,’ situation, the referees’ CBA with the league expired eight days ago (on Sept. 1.) While the league says the two sides are still talking – there has been nothing for public consumption from the referees’ side for months – there is no deal and another lockout is possible.