The NBA owners and players certainly seem to have a lot to talk about these days.
But can the two sides come to an agreement?
A small group of owners' and players' representatives entered into a negotiating session Wednesday afternoon and emerged 15 hours later in the early morning Thursday in New York.
There was still no tangible progress to discuss, but apparently there was enough traction to the discussion that the two sides will convene again later Thursday. The hope is that the two sides can hash out a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the lockout that has already delayed the start of the 2011-12 season.
"We're not going to talk about the particular progress," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "The energy in the room has been good; the back and forth has been good."
The two sides held marathon meetings for three consecutive days last week, one session lasting 16 hours, but disbanded abruptly when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on the revenue split.
Wednesday’s session took a different approach. Instead of trying to work out the hot-button differences on revenue splitting and the salary cap, the two sides talked about the NBA system and issues of maintaining competitiveness among the teams. If they find more common ground there, it’s hoped that it help ease the way to an agreement on the two major issues.
The NBA owners and players could possibly come to an agreement as early as this weekend, if negotiations progress as hoped.
"We were able to work through a number of different issues today regarding our system," union president Derek Fisher said. "We can't say that major progress was made in any way, but some progress was made on system issues — obviously enough for us to come back."
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris
(Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)