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NBA Lockout Illuminated with Optimism After 16-hour Meeting
The 2011 NBA Lockout is now 111 days old and for the first time in what seems like years, there's finally some sort of optimism about the sides coming to a collective bargaining agreement in the not-so-distant future.
After 16 hours of mediated labor talks, the two sides split shortly after 2 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning and are scheduled to resume talks at 10 a.m. EST. Meetings began at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday morning and caused a media uproar as negotiations dragged on throughout the night and into the next morning.
The mediator, George Cohen, met with both sides individually on Monday before bringing them together on Tuesday in hopes of ironing out the remaining wrinkles.
Cohen asked both sides to stay mum on the details of any progress made during the meetings.
Going into Tuesday's meetings, NBA commissioner David Stern made it clear that progress needed to be made if the league hoped to avoid cancelling more games beyond the first two weeks of the regular season, which have already been scrapped.
"If there's a breakthrough, it's going to be on Tuesday," Stern said. "And if not, I think that the season is really going to potentially escape from us because we aren't making any progress."
The aspects of this whole situation that have injected hope into the NBA community are that the meeting took so long and that another meeting is scheduled after a relatively short eight-hour break. The last meeting ended much sooner after talks broke down, resulting in the loss of the first two weeks of the season. If 16 hours and a scheduled meeting only eight hours later is any indication, we could have basketball sooner than initially expected.
Although Stern told WFAN radio in New York that he felt like there wouldn't be any NBA games on Christmas if a deal was not struck by Day 110 (Tuesday), there's still reason to believe that the no more basketball will fall victim to the lockout.
The players union is prepared to commit the entire week to negotiating. The owners, however, have two days of board meetings that start on Wednesday and will need to work quickly to find a solution once the sides reconvene later on today.
It's coming down to the wire. Luckily, both sides seem to be heading towards some sort of common ground that could have NBA games being played before the month of December is upon us.
Gil Alcaraz IV has been a diehard NBA fan since the age of nine. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV as he provides insight and analysis on everything newsworthy involving the NBA.
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