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NBA Players' Assn. supports playing overseas

July 15, 2011 | 11:12 am

Photo: San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, left, talks to New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams. Credit: Soobum Im / U.S. Presswire. The NBA Players' Assn. sent a memo to its members Tuesday encouraging them to play overseas during the lockout.

"This lockout is intended to economically pressure our players to agree to an unfavorable collective bargaining agreement," wrote union leader Billy Hunter. "It is important for the owners to understand that there may be significant consequences to their decision to put their own players in these difficult economic circumstances.

"If the owners will not give our players a forum in which to play basketball here in the United States, they risk losing the greatest players in the world to the international basketball federations that are more than willing to employ them."

The owners imposed the lockout on June 30. It was the league's first lockout since the 1998-99 season, which was shortened to 50 games.

New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams is working on a deal with Turkish team Bestikas, and both Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and New York's Amare Stoudemire have expressed interest in playing overseas.

ALSO:

Kurt Rambis fired as Timberwolves coach

Deron Williams reaches agreement to play in Turkey

Shaquille O'Neal to join Charles Barkley on TNT show

-- Melissa Rohlin

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, left, talks to New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams. Credit: Soobum Im / U.S. Presswire.

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