We have reached Wednesday: the deadline, imposed by NBA commissioner David Stern on Saturday, for the National Basketball Players Association to accept the league's current offer or risk that offer substantially changing for the worse at end of business today.
After some back-and-forth on Tuesday, the players have indicated they are willing to accept the league's offer on the all-important revenue split issue if they are able to obtain some system issue concessions from the owners.
Update (10:33 p.m.):
NBA labor talks broke about 1 a.m. Eastern after 12 hours of negotiations. NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters that he is suspending the NBA's deadline so that negotiations can continue on Thursday at noon.
"We've agreed that we have stopped the clock and we continue to negotiate. I would not read into this optimism or pessimism, we're just continuing to negotiate."
"Nothing was worked out today. We're not failing and we're not succeeding, we're just there."
Here's a link to video of Stern's statements.
NBPA president Derek Fisher said that there was not significant progress made during the negotiating session.
"We've obviously been here for quite some today. We spent a lot of time covering all of the issues that we still have remaining but we can't say that there was significant progress today, but we're going to meet again tomorrow... to see if we can continue to make the efforts to try to finish this out."
"I think what we stated yesterday was an openness and a willingness to come off our number and come closer to a deal on the economics and we would be willing to move on a lot of system issues that we expect from them. We never actually said 50/50 and give us the entire system. What we've continued to say is that if we continue to make economic concessions on the BRI split, in exchange for that there should be more flexibility from the NBA and the league on the system and that continues to be our believe."
Here's a link to video of Fisher's statements.
NBPA executive director Billy Hunter said that the BRI split remains unresolved and that many system issues remain unresolved.
"Not today, no. We are still discussing those issues along with a litany of other issues. I think that's part of the problem. There are just so many issues that haven't been resolved, it's pretty copious."
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, however, reported that "progress was made on three system issues."
Keep reading below for a blow-by-blow run-down of Wednesday's NBA lockout developments.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides will resume negotiations at 1 p.m. eastern in New York City.
League and union negotiators will meet at 1 p.m. in Manhattan, source says. It will be a small-group meeting, about five people on each side. It is believed that Spurs owner Peter Holt will join Stern, [deputy commissioner Adam] Silver and high-ranking NBA legal staff. Union economist Kevin Murphy is flying in to join [NBPA executive director Billy] Hunter, [NBPA president] Fisher and union lawyers -- presumably including Jeffrey Kessler.
Kessler sparked a mini-controversy by telling Amy Shipley of the Washington Post that the players are being treated "like plantation workers" during these negotiations. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported Wednesday morning that Kessler has apologized in a statement.
"The comments that I made in The Washington Post took place in an interview late at night Monday after a very long day. Looking back, the words that I used were inappropriate; I did not intend to offend. I was merely passionately advocating for the players. I intend to call Commissioner Stern and offer my apologies for the remarks. It is very important that there be no distractions now and that the parties try to make a deal to save the season."
Update (2 p.m.): The 5 p.m. Eastern deadline has officially passed with no word from the two sides, who have now reached the four-hour mark of their current negotiating session.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that things have been quiet because the smaller group nature of this meeting has kept talks "on complete lockdown."
Update (3:18 p.m.): David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that the two sides have ordered dinner, meaning that talks should continue for hours to come.
Update (5:09 p.m.): J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today reports that NBA PR informed him that there won't likely be news prior to the newspaper's deadline, meaning it will be a late night.
Update (5:35 p.m.): Our first round of true updates from Wednesday's session are rolling in. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports cites "two sources" who say that "significant progress" has been made on Wednesday with talks "expected to extend late into the evening" although "no deal was considered imminent." Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports that one GM says that "good progress is being made" but that he remains "only cautiously optimistic." Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that talks are "moving slowly" but noted that there have been "no blowups."
Update (9:42 p.m.): Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports provided this dispatch after talks hit the 11-hour mark.
As expected, league and union officials locked into a 50-50 split of revenue and were spending the long night on system issues, sources said. The players are determined to keep system issues which allow them freedom to move to luxury-tax teams, among other issues involving the tax and escrow systems.
Several agents and players still expressed skepticism about how many concessions the union could be making on system issues to close a deal with the league. Several insisted that if the union gave up too much, the union could face resistance in getting an agreement ratified by a majority of the league's players.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter