September 8, 2011 in Sports

NBA labor talks more frequent


NEW YORK – NBA owners and players met for about 51/2 hours Wednesday, plan to resume negotiations today, and could even sit down again Friday.

While neither side would say if progress is being made, the frequency of the discussions seems a good sign. They met only twice in the first two months of the lockout that began July 1.

But they went for about six hours last Wednesday, and decided they would go multiple days this week. Both sides said they could even carry over the discussions into a third consecutive day if things go well during today’s session.

“We agreed that we’re going to sit here for as many days as we can to see whether we can make progress, but we agreed not to characterize anything at all,” Commissioner David Stern said.

Both sides were cautious not to portray any optimism – though one player briefly did on Twitter, before saying his account had been hacked – or any other feelings about what was happening in the room at a midtown hotel. They said last week they wanted details of the discussions to remain private and seem intent on keeping that vow.

“It’s tough to characterize it in one fashion or another,” union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said.

But both sides recognize that progress must be made soon, or the threat of losing games to a work stoppage for only the second time in league history will increase.

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