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NBA and NBPA ratchet up the public chatter

Yesterday, Ken Berger of reported that David Stern would like to "cut player costs by $750 million to $800 million."  Probably more shockingly, Berger reported that the league would be "open to contraction" in order to reduce costs and increase profitability.  Well it did not take the National Basketball Players Association's Executive Director Billy Hunter long to respond.  Below are a series of tweets that were sent via the NBPA's official Twitter account (@TheNBPA):

NBPA Excecutive Director Billy Hunter's response to NBA's bargaining position - "The position expressed by the NBA today is regretful, cont.

...since in February 2010, the players unequivocally rejected the owners' proposal which called for a hard cap, (cont.)

...a 40 percent rollback in player salaries, unlimited expense deductions and the elimination of guaranteed contracts. (cont.)

...The players and the union would prefer to work towards attaining a fair deal that addresses concerns raised by both sides...(cont.)

...and improves the game. But, if the owners maintain their position it will inevitably result in a lockout...(cont.)

...and the cancellation of part or all of the 2011-2012 season. The players and union will prepare accordingly." (End of statement.)

Is this all noise or is the NBA, following what is likely to be a second consecutive very successful season, heading towards a lockout?  Let's hear your thoughts.