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Big day for NBA lockout discussions

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Is Day 120 the lucky one?

NBA players and owners seem more likely than ever to end the lockout, though there are still obstacles in the way of a deal Friday in New York.

The two sides will continue to debate the luxury tax before turning to the biggest item of all, the split of basketball-related income. Optimism has been a large part of the last two days, but...

"They're still kind of far apart," said a person who gets daily briefings on the discussions.

Players don't want a high luxury tax because they think it will deter owners from amassing large payrolls. Owners, perhaps in fear of none other than themselves, want a high punitive tax for free-spending teams that are often the big-city ones.

As for the basketball-related income split, the owners have demanded a well-publicized 50-50 split while the players have previously come down as far as 52.5% of the take.

"Big Day today," was how players' union vice president Roger Mason summed it up on his Twitter feed.

A lot still needs to be done. Maybe there will be a resolution, finally.

Shortened season would help young players.

 Can players and owners agree on basketball-related income?

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Union head Billy Hunter, left, and NBA Commissioner David Stern at a meeting before the start of labor negotiations. Credit: Ed Kosmicki / EPA.

 
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