*While the NBA lockout was a surprise to most of us, it wasn’t for those in the organization.

Billy Hunter (pictured below), executive director of the NBA said the lockout was expected.

“We spent three years preparing these guys for this,” he tells Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m convinced they’ll hang in there, that they’ll stay the course for the year if that’s what it takes.”

He added that he hasn’t heard any of the players complain about their finances. Actually, Kobe Bryant offered over some of his revenue to help others get through the hardship.

“Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary,” Hunter said.

Further, he added that fans should be on the players’ side because Hunter thinks fans should side with the players because “we have some of the same issues now that so many individuals in this country experience. Of course, the difference is the pay scale. But the system we operate under is pay for performance. These players are the widgets. They’re replaceable. They face competition for their jobs. They do endure injuries, their bodies take a toll. The back end of some of their lives will be difficult.”