After seven and a half hours of negotiation between the NBA and NBA players association on Thursday, league commissioner David Stern showed signs of promise that a deal between the two sides could actually get done on Friday, likely getting resolved in time leading to have a full 82 game schedule.
Stern spoke with the media after Thursday's discussions, and had positive things to say about a deal coming soon:
"I can't tell you we've resolved anything in such a big way, but there's an element of continuity, familiarity and I would hope trust that would enable us to look forward to (Friday), where we anticipate there will be some important and additional progress or not. We're looking forward to seeing whether something good can be made to happen."
This will be the third time in about a month these discussions have seemingly come to a head, with nothing coming from it in first two occurrences. But according to several sources inside the negotiations have noted a noticeable rise in the sense of urgency to get this lockout in the rear view and get back to playing basketball.
Another good sign was a moment of levity between Stern and NBAPA commissioner Billy Hunter, when Stern yelled out from the back of the room during Hunter's news conference when Hunter was asked when definitive moves could get made to finalize a new CBA.
"Well, David Stern is sitting back there," Hunter said. "I think he can probably tell you. Hopefully, sometime tomorrow."
And right on cue, Stern shouted jovially from the back of the room, "Tomorrow!"
a great sign after the tension of last week's discussions. Fingers crossed NBA fans!