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NBA, Players Schedule First Labor Talks Since Lockout Began

National Basketball Association officials and representatives from the players’ union will hold labor talks on July 22, three weeks after the league imposed a lockout.

It will be the first face-to-face negotiations since the owners locked the players out on July 1 following failed talks over how to split money from a league that generated about $4.3 billion in revenue last season.

The meeting at the league office in New York won’t include owners or members of the National Basketball Players Association’s Executive Committee, union Executive Director Billy Hunter, who also will not be in attendance, said in an interview.

An e-mail seeking comment from Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA, wasn’t immediately returned.

Staff members from both sides also met on July 15 to discuss issues not specifically related to the labor negotiations. The discussions this week are expected to center on topics related to the system the two sides are playing under, such as the cap on player salaries.

Following the owners’ 10-year proposal disclosed by NBA Commissioner David Stern on June 21, Hunter said those terms placed the two sides more than $7 billion apart.

The NBA today released its game schedule for the 2011-12 season, with the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks hosting the Chicago Bulls in the season-opener Nov. 1.

The last time there was an NBA lockout, in 1998, the two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement until the following January, shortening the season to 50 games from 82.

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