NBA commissioner David Stern believes a deal can possibly be reached before the current collective bargaining agreement ends Thursday night and a likely lockout ensues.
The problem is there haven’t been any negotiations between the two sides since last week’s talks broke down, and there were none scheduled Wednesday. The players and owners are scheduled to meet Thursday in hopes of either hammering out a deal or agreeing to extend the current CBA while negotiations continue.
But you have to wonder what both sides are thinking, waiting until the final hour. Maybe both the players and owners want a lockout to see which side will blink first.
"We were prepared to [meet] over the weekend," Stern told reporters Tuesday in Dallas, where the owners were gathered for a meeting. "They said ... can we meet Wednesday or Thursday? We said, 'Fine, we can meet either or both.' And they said Thursday. We said, 'Great.' "
We should wonder: Why waste their time? But Sterns insists something could happen prior to the clock striking midnight on Thursday.
"There's always time to make a deal," Stern said in the ESPN.com story.
But union chief Billy Hunter might have thrown out the best we can hope for when he told the Sports Business Journal there could be an extension of the CBA if both sides are working toward an agreement. But even he seems resigned to what seems like the inevitable.
"If no progress is being made by the two sides," Hunter told the Sports Business Journal, "then the NBA will impose a lockout."
(Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)