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NBA, NBPA Make Progress In 15+ Hours Of Talks On Wednesday

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association met for more than 15 hours in small groups in New York City on Wednesday. The general consensus was that progress was made and that there is cause for optimism, with both sides agreeing it's still possible for an 82-game season to be salvaged. Talks will resume on Thursday at 2 p.m. Here's what the key players had to say when talks wrapped up around 3:30 a.m. -------------------------- Derek Fisher, NBPA president: "We were able to work through a number of different issues regarding our system. We can't say that major progress was made in any way but there was some progress on some of our system issues, obviously enough for us to come back at 2 p.m. tomorrow. We'll continue to work through as long as we possibly can and as hard as we possibly can." Billy Hunter, NBPA executive director: "If a deal can be achieved between now and Sunday or Monday of next week, I think it's possible [for an 82-game season to be played]. It's going to be somewhat stressful because of the need to do some back-to-backs." David Stern, NBA commissioner: "This has been a very arduous and difficult day, and productive. Tomorrow is going to be just as arduous and difficult if not more so. We hope it can be as productive... There's no deal on anything unless there's a deal on everything." Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner: "I think it's too early... still in the negotiations to express confidence that we're at a deal. But there's no question, though, that we did make progress on some significant issues. But there are still some very significant issues left." -------------------------- Here's a sampling of the media reports prior to both sides making their statements... -------------------------- Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: After 12 hours of labor talks, NBA and NBPA are making progress on system issues, including luxury tax, three sources with knowledge tell Y! (here) Howard Beck, New York Times: Told that sides have "moved closer" on "most" system issues, but no agreement yet. (here) Bill Simmons, Grantland.com: 82-game NBA reg season + full playoffs still in play. Need done deal by weekend. Lots of optimism now. I'd be surprised if this fell apart. (here) Chris Mannix, SI.com: One source briefed on the talks Wednesday said agreement by the end of the week "very possible." "Lot of real progress tonight," source said. (here) -------------------------- Wednesday's session began at noon Eastern and stretched past 3 a.m. Thursday morning. It was the second longest negotiating session of the lockout. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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