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Seth Wenig, Associated Press
Surrounded by NBA basketball players, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter, center, and NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher, second from left, speak to the media during a news conference after a meeting of the players' union in New York, Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. The NBA players rejected the league's latest offer and have begun the process to disband the union.

The NBA's lockout came swiftly on the heels of the NFL's, and there's one significant difference: Pro football lost one exhibition game. The NBA will have a shortened regular season — if one is played at all.

Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and others sued the NBA this week. That could lead to a lengthy legal process or — as happened with the NFL — could bring the sides back to negotiations.

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for players in both sports, says: "Hopefully a settlement can be reached ... and the season can be saved."

Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law program at Tulane notes NBA owners and players "know the litigation can't play all the way through in time to save this season — or maybe even next season."