NBA labor discussions still going nowhere

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NBA labor discussions still going nowhere

NEW YORK - Talks aimed at ending the NBA lockout have started again but are apparently going nowhere.

A downcast Commissioner David Stern said “nothing” gave him reason for encouragement after a 2-hour meeting Monday between owners and players, the first to include leadership from both sides since the lockout began a month ago.

“I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way,’’ Stern said.

Stern added that nothing had changed since the last meeting on June 30, hours before the old collective bargaining agreement expired, and said he doesn’t feel players are bargaining in good faith.

Players argue that although owners insist they are committed to making a deal, their proposals say otherwise.

Neither side offered a new proposal Monday, three months before the scheduled Nov. 1 opening of the regular season that seems more in doubt than ever.

Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver were joined by San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, who heads the labor relations committee. Glen Taylor, Board of Governors chairman and Minnesota Timberwolves owner, represented the ownership.

Players’ association Executive Director Billy Hunter, and President Derek Fisher and Vice President Theo Ratliff, both of the Lakers, attended along with union attorneys.

“It’s a tough position to be in,” Fisher said. “I think Peter, Glen Taylor, Commissioner Stern, Adam Silver are articulating certain things in the room, expressing their desire to get a deal done, but where their proposal lies makes it hard to believe that.

“So we’re continuing to try to work around what’s been said and really focus on the deal on the table, and right now we’re still a very, very long way from getting a deal done.’’

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