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NBA cuts workforce by about 11 percent in cost-cutting move

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association reduced its workforce by about 11 percent, or 114 jobs, as expenses are outpacing revenue, a league spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman said the NBA, which locked out players two weeks ago when talks on a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed, said the cuts are not directly linked to the labor dispute but rather part of a $50 million cost-cutting plan.

"The layoffs are not a direct result of the lockout but rather a response to the same underlying issue; that is, the league's expenses far outpace our revenues," said Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA.

NBA officials have said 22 of the league's 30 clubs are losing money and that they are seeking contract changes to offset net losses they claim run to some $300 million.

The lockout has thrown into doubt whether the upcoming season will start on time and comes at the same time as the National Football League is in the midst of a work stoppage.

The most recent NBA collective agreement calls for 57 percent of basketball related income be distributed to the players under a $58 million per team cap system.

The owners have asked for the revenue split to be 50-50, while the players reduced their counter proposal to 54.3 percent, or $100 million a year, of additional revenue to the owners over a five-year term.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue)