Armageddon has hit the NBA.
The NBA players announced Monday that they rejected the owners' latest offer to settle the lockout and that they are planning to file an antitrust lawsuit in hopes of resolving the labor impasse between the two sides.
Commissioner David Stern said that the move means the NBA is in for "nuclear winter."
If that sounds ominous, it should. The Monday machinations essentially stop negotiations in their tracks and set the table for the kinds of court proceedings we all became familiar with during the NFL lockout this summer.
The big difference this time is that the NFL got the ball rolling on those things well before the start of the season, which meant that the legal developments that helped force the sides back together came in enough time to salvage the season.
With two weeks already gone from the schedule, it seems quite possible that this move is going to put the chance of any season in great jeopardy.
If that sounds like we're blaming the players for things getting to this point, that's only half of the story. Obviously the players could have accepted a deal and allowed the season to go forward.
But the owners' hands are hardly clean in this mess. Stern was the one who said that negotiations were essentially over and that the players had to accept the league's offer or suffer the consequences.
That's not exactly the kind of ultimatum that allows anyone on the players' side to make a deal without being the only side to sacrifice anything in the process.
The owners weren't willing to make a compromise at any level in the negotiations, something that the NFL owners were able to do before blowing up the golden goose.
Now the goose is cooked and everybody loses. We won't have any basketball for the foreseeable future, which means we'll have to make do with video game simulations of a Knicks season that had plenty of people excited while trying to fill our nights with college hoops or hockey once the NFL season comes to an end.
Nuclear winter sounds about right, which makes it the only thing in this whole ugliness that actually sounds right.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter
and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.