New York, NY – The NBA and representatives of its players met for more than five hours Sunday to try and make headway on a new collective bargaining agreement and to save regular season games from being canceled.
Although neither side would comment on progress of the talks, they are set to get together again Monday.
The union had reportedly asked for a meeting before Monday -- the day commissioner David Stern marked as a deadline to get a new deal worked out or risk losing the first two weeks of the regular season.
The four primary faces of the labor talks were at Sunday's meeting: Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver for the NBA, and union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers with union head Billy Hunter.
The league hasn't canceled games since the 1998-99 season, when the schedule was reduced to 50 games because of a work stoppage.
The stickiest issue in the lockout has been the split of basketball-related income. The owners want players to agree to a 50-50 share, while the players aren't willing to go below 53%.
The players rejected a 50-50 split and owners said there was no reason to meet on Friday.
Earlier in the week, the league canceled the remainder of the preseason after lengthy negotiations fell apart on Tuesday. The regular season is scheduled to begin in a little over three weeks, on November 1.
Stern already said it would be unlikely for the NBA to have an 82-game season if it started later than November 1.
The NBA lockout, of course, began on July 1 after the most recent labor deal between the sides expired.
Unlike the labor strife that caused NFL lockout, which long appeared to be solvable, the problems facing the NBA have led observers to warn about a prolonged dispute like the one that canceled the 2004-05 NHL season.