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Optimism or False Hope? NBA Talks Quicken as Camp Deadline Nears

It's not yet crunchtime.  The players get paid until November 1. Owners don't lose game revenue until November 2.  Still, three meetings in eight days, with the prospect of a fourth if things go well, can't be dismissed.  The two sides meet in Manhattan Thursday after talking for five and a half hours Wednesday. If things go well, a Friday session will be added.

Everyone (other than Roger Mason Jr.) is maintaining radio silence on the talks, but Ken Berger and Chris Sheridan read the tea leaves to suggest that some progress has already been made and David Stern seems willing to wait before canceling the opening of training camp, scheduled for October 1.  Not everyone is optimistic, however, with some questioning union leader Billy Hunter's strategy.