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Owners, players may not talk CBA All-Star Weekend. Can you say lockout?

Jan 20, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

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At the start of the season, David Stern said that come All-Star Weekend in February, we’d have a better idea where the owners and players stood in talking about a new Collective Bargaining Agreemement and if we were headed to a lockout. After months of smaller meetings and discussion, that weekend is when everyone would sit down in one room and start to hash things out.

Or, maybe not, Sam Amick reports at FanHouse.

But according to Maurice Evans, the Atlanta guard who serves as executive vice president on the NBA Player’s Associations committee, the owners have made it known that they have no interest in engaging the players on such a stage.

“They don’t even want to meet with us at All-Star break,” Evans told me Wednesday. “You’re telling me you can’t pull a few guys and some owners into a room for an hour and try an update what’s important? What’s important is us continuing our league and not having a work stoppage, so if it was really important to them, I would think they would want to find time to do that.”

When Carmelo Anthony is saying there will be a lockout “without a doubt,” this is what he’s talking about.

The owners and their people are saying that the meeting would end up stealing the spotlight from the weekend of events. Which did sort of happen last year when LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and a host of other big name stars sat in on a meeting. And if there was a meeting again All-Star Weekend, you could be the stars would be back to show solidarity. Which might be another reason the owners don’t want to do it — they’d rather not face the stars.

Right now, there are some owners really taking a hard line. They hold a lot of sway. The players right now are unified. This is not going to be pretty, folks. Not pretty at all.

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