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Report: Owners, players to meet in small groups this week

Sep 20, 2011, 8:40 AM EDT

Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter AP

The only way there is going to be an NBA season — whether full or partial — is if the owners and players keep talking and hammering out their differences.

So this tweet that owners and players will sit down and start talking again is a positive. Chris Broussard of ESPN broke the news on twitter:

NBA players & owners hoping to meet in small groups Wed &/or Thurs this week, sources say. Both sides hoping to start reg season on time.

I’m hoping Tom Colicchio comes over and cooks dinner at my house. You can hope for anything, doesn’t mean it will happen.

The sessions this week will involve staff and the ever-present lawyers, but not necessarily the big guns like David Stern and Billy Hunter or Derek Fisher. That could happen but it’s up in the air right now.

The chances of the NBA season starting on time depend on two questions: Will the owners come off their demands for a hard salary cap if the players give up another percentage point or two of “basketball related income” and will the players give up those points?

The players have already come down to 53 percent (from 57 percent in the old deal) and there have been reports they would go to 52 percent. Players got the impression that would be enough to get a deal done, but then Lucy pulled the ball out and Charlie Brown went flying again.

Which is why it’s hard for me to get my hopes too high. I can see the path to an agreement, but you never know when someone is going to pull the football out again.

But hey, they are talking. So that’s something.

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