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