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NBA labor talks break off with no progress reported

September 13, 2011 |  2:04 pm

Players union representatives enter a fruitless bargaining session Thursday.

Representatives of NBA owners and players were unable to make any progress on a new labor deal during a five-hour meeting in New York on Tuesday.

Billy Hunter, executive director of the players' union, told reporters afterward that he was "a bit pessimistic" that season openers scheduled for Nov. 1 would start on time.

"We were prepared to compromise somewhat on the position that we'd staked out previously in the hopes that we could get a deal, save dollars and maybe start the season on time," Hunter said. "Unfortunately, after the negotiations, the discussions we've had, which have gone on all day, we're a bit pessimistic and discouraged at, one, the ability to start on time, and we're not so sure that there may not be further damage or delay trying to get the season started.

"The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they've anchored themselves."

Hunter told reporters the union had proposed reducing player salaries while retaining a version of the existing economic structure, including a flexible salary cap. Owners met to consider the proposal before rejecting it, Hunter said.

"We did not have a great day," NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters.

No further talks are scheduled, threatening the scheduled start of training camps Oct. 3 and preseason games Oct. 9.

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-- Ben Bolch

Photo: NBA union chief Billy Hunter, left, Theo Ratliff, center, and Derek Fisher arrive at the bargaining session Tuesday. Credit: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

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