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Report: Federal mediator to be back in room Saturday

Nov 4, 2011, 4:51 PM EDT

George Cohen Getty Images

George Cohen, the federal mediator who led intense discussions between the NBA and players union several weeks back, will be in the room again Saturday.

That’s what Chris Broussard of ESPN reports, confirmed by an NBA spokesman.

Cohen led the two sides through 30 hours of negotiations in three days, when some of the most progress was made during the lockout. However, when everything went south he seemed to throw up his hands and walk away in frustration.

Having Cohen back in the room — a room filled with large groups — could help keep the discussion on point. That said, he can’t force the sides to make a deal. If both sides are not willing to come together and make a deal, Cohen can’t force them.

Still, they made progress last time he worked in this room. So, if you feel optimistic run with it.

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