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NBA Labor: Talks Fail To Bring Progress

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NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — The start of the NBA season was thrown into doubt Tuesday after players and owners made no progress at a key labor meeting, with no further talks scheduled.

Union executive director Billy Hunter says players were prepared to make a “significant” financial move, but found owners unwilling to budge off their positions.

Union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said he will tell players that “the way it looks right now we may not start on time.”

Fisher added that “we can’t find a place with the league and our owners where we can reach a deal sooner rather than later.”

The two sides had initially planned to meet again on Wednesday.

After three meetings among small groups in the last two weeks, full bargaining committees returned to the table Tuesday.

The hope was that would move the process forward, but Hunter said owners are still holding to their desire for changes to the salary cap structure. A hard cap remains “highly untenable” to players, he said.

Training camps are scheduled to open Oct. 3 and the regular season’s opening night is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Fisher, surrounded by a row of long faces among fellow NBPA executive committee members seated in a hotel conference room, said players are still committed to the process and “not walking away from the table.” But Hunter repeated that players “have instructed us that they’re prepared to sit out” rather than accept owners’ current proposals.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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