With wars and rumors of wars signaling the basketball end times, there's at least one presence that might be able to lend some sanity to the process.
The good news is that federal mediator George Cohen will be in the room again, meaning there's at least some hope of the meeting lasting longer than 10 minutes, even if it's only because he might tiptoe around the less-sensitive subjects at the outset. But the conversation will turn to the core issues at some point, and that's where a divide that simply can't be overlooked still remains. And it goes past the well-publicized dispute over the split of basketball-related income.
Can he perform miracles? I dare say not, and even if he walked on water, I'm pretty sure the players and owners would still pursue their own agendas.
With that said, I read somewhere at some point that his value might just be to get the extremists on both sides to listen to the negotiators and lend some credibility to the fact that compromise might be the best available avenue (especially when compared to cancelling the season).
Of course, that would mean being reasonable people, which is not something I have seen much evidence of lately.