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nba lockout

Today’s the Latest Big Day in the NBA Labor Talks

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08:  Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association speaks at a press conference after the NBPA held a meeting to discuss the NBA lockout at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on November 8, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) Players union executive director Billy Hunter.

Today brings yet another deadline in the awful, ongoing NBA lockout: David Stern says that at 5 p.m. today, the league’s latest proposal will come off the table, and will be replaced by what the Times calls a “significantly worse offer.” The players union, meanwhile, has already said that the current offer isn’t acceptable, but they’ve asked for another bargaining session before that 5 p.m. deadline.

There’s at least some news that suggests the gap between the two sides might be shrinking a bit: The union yesterday signaled for the first time that it would be willing to accept the league’s proposal of a 50-50 split of annual revenue in return for concessions in other areas, such as the league’s proposed restrictions on free agency.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the two sides are on the verge of a deal — the owners would need to budge on the so-called “system” issues — but at least there’s something to keep an eye on today. Not exactly as exciting as watching the second of back-to-back Knicks games tonight, but that's what it's come to for basketball fans. Concessions in labor negotiations! Yeah! I love this game!

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Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images