At a certain point, the sides had to start talking again, right?
And after two dozen negotiating sessions that played out in public, with both sides issuing their spin in comments to the media afterward (with the exception of sessions mediated by George Cohen), we are now learning that secret meetings have been taking place yesterday and today — presumably in an effort to settle all matters related to the NBA lockout, which would include litigation and collective bargaining matters.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the news on his Twitter feed, noting that Derek Fisher, president of what used to be the players’ union, is not taking part in the discussions. Howard Beck of the New York Times says the league is eyeing a 66-game season that would begin on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Beck also says the sides will met again Friday after taking a day off for Thanksgiving.
So there is some renewed hope, but it should be tempered with a cautionary word: Talking in private, and keeping word of the negotiations out of the public eye, can only be helpful to the process if there is a concerted effort and willingness on both sides to push this negotiation over the finish line. During the 1998-99 lockout, it was far more common for the sides to meet discreetly, but those sessions proved to be as fruitless as the larger, more public negotiating sessions.