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Hope Fades After Latest CBA Talks ...Or Does It? Are They Closer?

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So much for progress. Players and owners came out of a four hour bargaining session, the third multi-hour session in four days, to say there wasn't enough progress to continue. Union chief Billy Hunter even suggested the possibility that there will be no talks for weeks. David Stern said that unless there is deal by Monday, which is highly unlikely, he will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. The league canceled preseason after the bargaining session.

But both Ken Berger and Chris Sheridan suggest the two sides are not that far apart, with Berger offering a detailed look at what happened and reporting, "Though no additional negotiations are scheduled and the process now enters the dangerous and unpredictable phase where any slipups could jeopardize a large chunk of the regular season, the two sides are closer than they publicly divulged." Sheridan describes the challenge of getting to a deal "a layup."

Players said they had offered to reduce their guarantee of basketball-related income from 57 to 53 percent, which they said would have given owners back more than $1 billion over six years. But the owners' offer, according to Berger, came in a range of 49-51 -- with 49 percent guaranteed and a cap of 51 percent.