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Lawyers for NBA owners, players meet at bargaining table

November 23, 2011 |  1:36 pm

SternnewestNBA players and owners haven't given up on a happy holiday.

Attorneys for the two sides were in negotiations Wednesday to try to reach a settlement of the 146-day NBA lockout before Christmas Day games have to be canceled.

An NBA spokesman said the league "remained in favor of a negotiated resolution" but declined to comment further.

Because the players union disbanded last week and filed an antitrust lawsuit, only attorneys are allowed to negotiate at this point. Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, president of the disclaimed players union, is reportedly not involved in the discussions.

Yahoo! Sports first reported that the parties resumed negotiations.

After the players rejected the owners' most recent proposal last week, the NBA canceled games up to Dec. 15. If an agreement is not reached by next week, all December games will be canceled.

The Lakers are currently scheduled to play the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center on Christmas Day. Twenty-one of their 82 games have been canceled so far.

During labor negotiations, the players seemed ready to accept a 50-50 split of basketball revenue with owners, but they walked away from the negotiating table last week because they rejected many of the peripheral provisions attached to the owners' proposal, including shorter contract lengths, smaller raises and a smaller midlevel exception for middle-of-the-road free agents.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media after a marathon meeting with players union representatives earlier this month. Credit: John Minchillo / Associated Press

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