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No breakthroughs in NBA contract talks; sides to meet again

September 22, 2011 |  2:24 pm

 Photo: David Stern. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters "the calendar is not our friend," at the close of a Thursday meeting in New York with the National Basketball Players Assn. that ended with no significant announcement other than the promise to meet again next week.

Stern didn't discuss the tone of a reported five-hour bargaining session that came nearly three months into the owners' lockout of players and less than two weeks before the scheduled start of training camp.

"My only concern is trying to make a deal that's fair to both sides," Stern told reporters.

Lakers guard Derek Fisher, the president of the union, said the parties were not closer to a deal than they were after last week's meeting.

"Obviously, we're not walking out of here with a deal right now," Fisher told reporters. "We'll keep working at it until we figure this out, but right now there isn't anything to report."

The union last week strongly hinted that it had agreed to take 4% less in basketball-related income after the league claimed that 23 of 30 teams were losing money.

The players are resistant to a hard salary cap. Owners have most recently proposed $2-billion salary cap for five years, after they spent $2.15 billion last season.

"We need an economic system and a system where teams can compete, and fans know their teams can compete," Stern told reporters. "That's where we're at."

MORE:

NBA labor negotiations to continue next week

Poll: Which side do you agree with more in the NBA lockout?

-- Lance Pugmire

Twitter.com/latimespugmire

 Photo: David Stern. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press.

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