Though the two sides were not expected to meet for quite some time following an explosive end to meetings last Thursday, the NBA and its Players Union met Wednesday into the wee hours of Thursday morning in an attempt to finally put an end to the NBA lockout.
Unfortunately, the gap between the two sides is still so wide that any progress is not yet viewed as significant, but representatives from both sides emerged past 3:30 AM Thursday morning giving off positive vibes.
Though Commissioner David Stern seemed a bit subdued (rather than upbeat), his manner could be attributed to the time of morning. The fact of the matter is that whenever the two sides come out of these meetings not in an enraged state, they have to be making some sort of progress.
Both sides agreed the meeting was more productive than last week's battle.
There was certainly optimism in the air, as talk of a 82 game season was evident, although it is perhaps not as likely. There is a commitment to work towards an agreement in an an attempt to get in as many games as possible, but as Stern noted, the need for an abbreviated "offseason," training camps, and preseason games, makes a full season a difficult feat at this point. He also cited regaining arena dates and arranging travel schedules accordingly as an obstacle.
The slight dismissal of a full season seemed like a rational comment, rather than some sort of threat. The two sides seem dedicated to at least working further towards a middle ground, as the calendar is clearly not on their side right now.
Reps from both sides had a mutual agreement not to address specifics at this point, but they did note that the topic of much conversation was system issues, rather than the previously disputed BRI split.
Meetings will reconvene today at 2PM EST.