The United States' National Basketball Association team owners have ordered a lockout of players as last-ditch talks failed, setting up a shutdown that threatens the 2011-12 season.
The first NBA work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was slashed to 50 games will halt trades, free agent signings and contract talks.
Players won't be paid, and will also be barred from using team facilities or working with coaches.
NBA commissioner David Stern says says only eight of its 30 teams are profitable and teams are losing $US300 million overall, with a huge divide between owners and players in terms of financial proposals.
"I'm not scared," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "I'm resigned to the potential damage it could do to our league."