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Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

NBA mired as original start date passes by

AP

NEW YORK — The original start date to the NBA season has arrived with progress still stalled in the negotiations to end the lockout. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday that no further talks had been scheduled yet.

Players and owners made progress on a number of issues related to the salary cap system over two days last week. But the negotiations fell apart again on the third day, when the sides revisited the revenue sharing split.

Owners are insistent on a 50-50 split, while players have proposed reducing their guarantee from 57 percent down to 52.5, which they say would transfer more than $1.5 billion to owners over six years.

Three games had been scheduled for Tuesday. The Dallas Mavericks would have began the defense of their first NBA title at home against reigning MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Houston was at Utah, with Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder at Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers. Most of league would have started Wednesday.

Commissioner David Stern canceled games through the end of November last Friday. The first two weeks of the season already had been lost to the lockout, which began after the old collective bargaining agreement expired June 30.

With no NBA games to play, Durant was still finding ways to compete and challenge fellow players.

Durant tweeted Monday he was interested in playing flag football. When fans at Oklahoma State University offered an invitation, he showed up in Stillwater that night to play. He tweeted later that he threw four touchdown passes and had three interceptions in a victory.

Then on Tuesday, LeBron James sent a tweet to the Thunder star that he was interested in setting up a flag football showdown between Durant's team and his own squad in Akron, Ohio.



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