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Next Time, They'll Try With Mediator

Well, at least they're talking.  The NBA and players announced Wednesday afternoon that the two sides will meet Monday with a federal mediator. 

"We've agreed as of today we're going to meet with a federal mediator on Monday," Billy Hunter told WFAN.  In a text message, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said "We are working on scheduling a meeting for early next week," USA Today reported.

Ken Berger reports that the mediator is George Cohen, who has played a role in NFL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer labor talks in the past. Cohen reached out to both sides this week and will meet with them separately on Monday in New York. He'll then meet with them together on Tuesday in Washington.

A mediator discusses possible settlements and encourages the disputing parties to arrive at a decision on their own while an arbitrator makes a final decision on a case.