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NBA, Players Meet Today for Fourth Time Since Lockout Began

NBAE Players' Union Vice President Roger Mason Jr.
Union Vice President Roger Mason Jr., a free agent who played for the New York Knicks last season, said in a telephone interview that he’s more optimistic an agreement can be reached. Photographer: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Representatives for the National Basketball Association and its players’ union will meet today for the fourth time since owners imposed a lockout July 1.

Both sides met yesterday for about five hours at a midtown Manhattan hotel. Among those present were NBA Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, union Executive Director Billy Hunter, President Derek Fisher and lead outside counsel Jeff Kessler.

Union Vice President Roger Mason Jr., a free agent who played for the New York Knicks last season, said in a telephone interview that he’s more optimistic an agreement can be reached. The season is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

“Seems like the league and the union understand how pivotal the timing is,” he said. “It feels like the tone is, ‘Let’s try to get something done sooner rather than later.’”

The league and union are haggling over how to share more than $4 billion in annual revenue.

Stern has said the teams lost a collective $300 million last season and that a system is needed whereby a well-managed club can compete for a championship and make money.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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