New York — The leader of the NBA Players' Association is expressing his support for playing overseas during the lockout.
In a memo sent to the players on Tuesday night and obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Billy Hunter says the union supports all players "who are taking steps to continue to earn a living, stay in peak competitive shape, and play the game that we love while the unfortunate league-imposed lockout is in place."
"This lockout is intended to economically pressure our players to agree to an unfavorable collective bargaining agreement," Hunter wrote. "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."