by Ryne Nelson

The union chief has been anticipating a lockout for a while. And we’ve known it would happen at some point. But when reality strikes, and news of the NBA lockout became official this afternoon, we couldn’t help but shake our head.

Negotiations will continue throughout the summer, as the Players Union has decided not to decertify. CBS Sports‘ Ken Berger confirms that “no further bargaining sessions scheduled, though negotiations can continue as long as union stays together.”

We’ve detailed much of the specifics behind the CBA proposals, but as Yahoo!‘s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets, “In the end, this lockout comes down to one thing: Can the hardline small (and some big) market owners keep the rest on board for hard cap?”

Stick around, something tells us we won’t be missing a ’11-12 season following a finish like this.