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NBA Lockout: Deal 'Within Striking Distance'

After the three-day mediated talks between the owners and players ended last week, this NBA fan was preparing for the worst -- a canceled season. I think that was the general concern amongst all NBA fans after two more weeks of the NBA season were reportedly canned and speculation mounted that the entire season was in serious jeopardy.

Like a Rodney Stuckey to China rumor, bizarro news started to surface that the owners and players were meeting into the wee hours of the night and making "significant progress" on system issues. After 7.5 more hours of negotiations today, there are still "a couple sticking points" to work out, but Billy Hunter thinks a deal is "within striking distance."

When David Stern was asked after Thursday's negotiations if he knew what a new deal would look like, Stern responded, "Yes," and added that he believes it would be a huge failure if a deal was not reached within the next few days.

Now, Stern tempered propagating optimism by giving the classic lawyerly 'there's no guarantee a deal will get done,' but he also reassured wondering fans that both sides will do their darnedest. The owners and players are expected to discuss everything on Friday -- including the BRI, which was apparently not discussed yesterday or today -- and are willing to go as long as it takes until a deal is reached. 

Unfortunately, "as long as it takes" has reportedly already taken four weeks of the NBA season. Let's just hope it stops there.