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NBA labor update: Talks resume ... briefly

August 1, 2011 |  3:38 pm

Newdavidstern Almost three hours of talking in one month.

You call that progress?

Admittedly, the bar has been set quite low in the labor negotiations between NBA owners and the players’ union. But some talking is better than not talking at all.

For the first time since the doors officially slammed shut –- when the lockout began July 1 -- the sides had a sit-down in New York on Monday afternoon.

Afterward, the rhetoric (however brief) cranked up a couple of notches, another expected byproduct of labor talks. One reporter asked NBA Commissioner David Stern if the players were negotiating in good faith.

“I would say not,” Stern told reporters.

Then he walked away.

Before that salvo, Stern said he was not “optimistic” about “the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way.”

Before Stern spoke, union President Derek Fisher met with reporters and said there were no new proposals. But there was talk about future sessions in August, perhaps sessions on back-to-back days.

“We still realize we’re very far apart,” Fisher, the Lakers guard, said to reporters after the session, which lasted nearly three hours. “But without meeting . . . there wouldn’t be any progress at all.”

Fisher also said, regarding the possibility of decertification, that the union was not yet “circling the wagons.”


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--Lisa Dillman

Photo: David Stern at the NBA Finals in May. Credit: A.P. Photo / Lynne Sladky.