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Labor Talks: Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel or an Oncoming Train?

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The NBA owners could have voted Tuesday to implement a lockout if no agreement is reached by Thursday night, but instead authorized its bargaining committee the go-ahead to make a deal on its own. Moreover, the league and players agreed to meet Thursday and both suggested an extension is possible if there's progress.

"Nothing in this world is absolute," Stern said, talking about the Thursday night deadline. Yet the commissioner wouldn't discuss the possibility of an extension. "We're not talking about likelihoods, we're looking forward to Thursday's meeting. That will be great," he said.

The main issues remain the same: Most important is the percentage of revenues that will go to the players, who currently receive 57 percent of NBA income. The league wants a more even split. The other issue is the owners' desire for some form of a hard cap on player salaries, which would prevent the richest franchises from outspending the less rich.