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Friday, Sep. 16, 2011

NBA labor negotiations producing no progress

AP

NEW YORK — Billy Hunter hoped to deliver good news when he meets with NBA players on Thursday in Las Vegas.

News photo
On the move: With no end in sight to the NBA lockout, free agent J.R. Smith, seen in action with the Denver Nuggets last seaon, will play for the Zhejiang Guangsha in China this season. AP PHOTO

Instead, the executive director of the players' association isn't even sure how he will answer all their questions.

No progress was made toward ending the 2½-month lockout during a meeting with owners Tuesday, and Hunter might have to tell players to look elsewhere if they want to be paid to play basketball anytime soon.

"There are a lot of guys, many marquee players now, who have offers to go outside the country. And the question is, what do they do?" Hunter said. "I mean, do they hold off making the decision, or do they wait in hopes that we get a deal in place sometime in the immediate future?"

Hopes of that diminished after Tuesday's meeting between the union's executive committee and the owners' labor relations committee ended with the sides still divided over the salary cap system, despite a hint of economic compromise.

And with Hunter and union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers warning that the season might not open on time, where do players go from here?

Overseas?

A court room, to sue the league after dissolving their union?

Back to NBA arenas, playing under a deal they hate?

Hunter makes the latter two options seem unlikely for now, reiterating Tuesday that players are unified in their refusal to accept the owners' current proposal.



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