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Stern and the Celtics owner walk way from the table, but talks continue in NYC

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Very early on Wednesday morning, I wrote that "expecting another 16-hour day from [the NBA and its players] on Wednesday is daffy," considering the 16-hour day the two sides put in on Tuesday in an attempt to end the ongoing NBA lockout. Well, who's daffy now?

The NBA and its players took a break a little after 7 1/2 hours of negotiations on Wednesday, with NBA commissioner David Stern, head legal counsel Joel Litvin and Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck heading to an owners-only meeting to discuss enhanced revenue sharing. They'll be back at the table later on Wednesday night, however, with the negotiations appearing to be heading into the wee hours yet again. Nothing contentious or showy going on here.

Who to thank for all this? Apparently federal mediator George Cohen, who once again managed to force both sides into keeping tight lips as they broke for a short respite near the end of the typical working day. NBA deputy commissioner Alan Silver has apparently long been the most talkative NBA voice at the table during these talks, so it might not even matter with Stern out of the room; especially with Cohen on board and the typical NBA Players Association retinue on hand.

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Things are moving slowly, according to some of the few leaks that have filtered out. This is from Newsday's Alan Hahn:

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Those expecting a quick resolution once Stern returns won't be satisfied, either. The fact that the owners are still haggling over just how to break up their own slice of the pie once they finally destroy the NBAPA is not a good sign. As has been the case for months, the league's own particular house has quite a bit to figure out.

Any talk is good talk, though. And it beats the heck out of going a month between meetings while the players freeze out their first missed paychecks.

UPDATE: George Cohen, in a short press conference on Wednesday night, announced that the meetings have concluded for the day at around 6:45 p.m. ET. Meetings, with the mediator present, will spark up again at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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