Hunter tells players to prepare to miss half a season

So much for that optimism that the players and owners were getting closer to a settlement that would end the lockout.

After Tuesday’s meetings with owners, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter advised players to prepare to miss at least half the upcoming season.

NBPA president Derek Fisher was just as bleak in his assessment.

“We can’t come out of here thinking that training camps and preseason are going to start on time at this point,” Fisher after the meeting.

NBA commissioner David Stern said it was a day without much progress. The biggest obstacle continues to be the players’ resistance to a hard cap.

The next step for the owners will be their board of governors meeting Thursday in Dallas. Expect some kind of announcement at that time where training camp and preseason games will be postponed.

As expected, there seems to be a division of opinion between owners on the need for a hard cap. The challenge of getting all of them to sign off on a deal might be as hard for Stern to pull off as dealing with the players.

And after reports of Tuesday’s meeting, it doesn’t appear that will be very easy, either.

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