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Players, Owners Back-Channeling?

Ken Berger reports that the two sides in the CBA talks have not yet given up on a season, but that time is short. Without a deal that would permit play by Christmas, the season is likely to be cancelled, he writes.  In the past, there was some thought that like 1999, the NBA would be willing to go with a 50-game season.

"Two people who have been briefed on the league's strategy told that the NBA is holding out hope that a settlement can be reached in time for the season to begin no later than Christmas," writes Berger. "One of those people said the process already is under way through what he described as "back-channeling," although sources from both sides professed no knowledge of such conversations"

As for a play-by-Christmas deadline, Berger quotes an ownership source as saying, "The 50-game season like they had in '98-'99, the league doesn't want that," while another added, "I don't know that there's an appetite for a 50-game season."