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David Stern says deal within reach to end NBA lockout

NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday night a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to end the 119-day lockout is finally in sight, and he believes owners and players will have failed if they do not a reach a deal during the next couple days.

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"There are no guarantees that we're going to get it done but we're going to give it one heck of a shot [Friday]," said Stern, following a seven-hour meeting between representatives for league owners and players in New York.

The sides continued to focus on system issues. Stern said they will tackle the long-debated split of basketball-related income when they reconverge Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET.

"We're looking forward to seeing whether something good can be made to happen," Stern said.

Thursday's meeting followed a 15-hour CBA session Wednesday that saw the sides make progress on key system-based issues, such as the luxury tax. That conference, which lasted until 3 a.m., produced renewed optimism and led NBA Players Association (NBPA) executive director Billy Hunter to say he thinks the entire 82-game 2011-12 regular season can still be saved if a deal is reached by Monday.

"I think we're within striking distance of getting a deal," Hunter said after Thursday's meeting.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz



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