NBA lockout talks conclude for the night, bring more optimism
No less an authority than Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players' union, sounded the most hopeful that the 119-day lockout would end soon.
"I think we're within striking distance of getting a deal," Hunter said at a news conference. "It's just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal."
The sides continued to peck away at peripheral items such as the luxury tax, the midlevel exception and the length of player contracts. The big talk, the split of basketball-related income, probably will be discussed Friday.
Stern was smiling as he sat down for a news conference, saying there was an element of "continuity, familiarity" between the sides.
"There are no guarantees that we'll get it done, but we're going to give it one heck of a shot" Friday, he said.
The second consecutive day of talks was short for a reason.
"I think everybody's pretty wiped out after last night," Hunter said, referring to talks that ended after 3 a.m. EDT Thursday morning.
-- Mike Bresnahan in Los Angeles
Photo: NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to reporters in New York on Oct. 10. Credit: David Karp / Associated Press