Could 82-game NBA season be salvaged?

Reports from the marathon NBA bargaining session that stretched well into Thursday morning sound as substantive as we’ve heard during the nearly four months of negotiating between the two sides.

The best news that came from both the players and owners after the 15-hour session ended was that an 82-game season still could  be salvagable if a settlement could  be reached by Sunday or Monday.

“We initially wanted to miss none,” NBA commissioner David Stern“It’s sad that we’ve missed two weeks. We’re trying to apply a tourniquet and go forward. That’s always been our goal.”

Both Stern and Billy Hunter sounded upbeat when they emerged to give their spin to the media.

Maybe it’s the late hour. But how come this seems to be a completely different attitude emerging than after cataclysmic gloom and doom that marked the end of last week’s abrupt conclusion? 

Despite the happy spin both sides have, huge work needs to be made when they meet again beginnning at 2 p.m. Thursday.

One source told CBS that “small moves” have been made. But the same gap exists with the split of the basketball-related income remains and appears to still be the same impediment to a deal as before.

It will be up to Hunter and Stern to bridge that gap.

They’ve been here before and haven’t been able to settle the deal.

Will they be any more successful on Thursday?

Basketball fans can only hope.

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