On Thursday, the NBA and the NBPA met for more than seven hours in New York City, one day after meetings lasted 15 hours. The tone of the post-meeting comments from both sides was very optimistic and there were intimations that a deal could be reached as soon as Friday.
Derek Fisher, NBPA president: "We are working through so many different issues, and we are trying to close the gap in each issue, as you try and make a move towards getting a deal done, it gets tougher towards the end. We have to continue to grind at it."
Billy Hunter, NBPA executive director: "I think we're within reach, within striking distance of getting a deal. It's just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal."
David Stern, NBA commissioner: "I can't tell you we resolved anything in such a big way, but there's an element of continuity, familiarity and I would hope trust that would enable us to look forward to tomorrow, where we anticipate there will be some important and additional progress, or not... There are no guarantees we will get it done but we will give it one heck of a shot tomorrow, and I think that Billy and the union's negotiators feel the same way. And I know that ours do."
Talks will continue on Friday morning at 10:30 a.m.
Full reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (here) and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (here).
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter