League, union to resume talks

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The NBA and its players association will get back to the bargaining table today in an effort to avoid a lockout July 1.

An Associated Press report last night indicated talks are set to resume today in New York after communication broke off between the two sides on June 1. The current collective-bargaining agreement runs out on June 30.

NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Russ Granik met with the media in San Antonio last Sunday. Then on Wednesday, National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter held a press conference of his own in the Detroit area.

Both sides predictably blamed the other for the stalled talks. However, now that they have had their say in public, apparently they are prepared to go private again and start talking to each other.

On Wednesday, Hunter had promised to call Stern "one more time" before the contract ran out. That call occurred yesterday.

There is no single deal-breaking philosophical issue, but rather a series of interconnected issues, all of which have economic implications.

The 1998-99 NBA season was shortened to 50 games because of a seven-month lockout.

ARRIVE ALIVE

The 78-year-old Detroit Pistons fan who gave a thumbs-up sign to the Palace crowd as he was wheeled out on a stretcher during Game 3 of the NBA final on Tuesday had his life saved by a couple of doctors who just happened to be seated nearby.

Edward Szumowicz stopped breathing during the second quarter and two doctors jumped over from a few rows away and performed CPR until they felt a pulse -- about five minutes later.

"It was a miracle," Szumowicz's wife Judith said.

The two doctors were presented with Pistons jerseys in a ceremony prior to Game 4 last night.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

The Cleveland Cavaliers cleared out more salary cap space yesterday by waiving reserve guard Lucious Harris, who would have made $2.75 million ... The Los Angeles Clippers have exercised the fourth-year option on centre Chris Kaman, the sixth overall selection in the 2003 NBA draft ... Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles signed his four-year contract extension yesterday.


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