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Progress Made, Some Optimism Peeks Through

Stop me when you've heard this before.  The sides made progress last night and face another made up deadline to save an 82 game season.

Progress on system; 82 games still 'possible' -

After another marathon, 15-hour bargaining session that pushed past 3 a.m. ET Thursday, NBA and union negotiators emerged saying progress had been made -- and pointed to the possibility of not only avoiding the loss of more games, but recapturing those already canceled and having an 82-game season. It’s beginning to look like time for push to come to shove and for the lockout, well into its fourth month, to have its best chance of coming to an end. "This has been a very arduous and difficult day, and productive," commissioner David Stern said after 4 a.m. in a conference room of a Manhattan luxury hotel. "(Thursday) is going to be just as arduous and difficult, if not more so. We hope that it can be as productive." The two sides are reconvening at 2 p.m., with National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter saying an 82-game season remains "possible" if a deal were reached by Sunday or Monday. 

I don't even want an 82 game season at this point (and TrueHoop agrees), but you know both sides will fight for it tooth and nail just to get their full paychecks.  Even if it means cramming 5 games a week into the schedule and running it through July or whatever they have cooked up.

I suppose this is good news, but I'm a little bitter from the whole process and find it hard to get excited about whatever minor breakthroughs get reported.  If the pattern that has been established holds true, we'll hear bad news at the end of today's session and start the cycle all over again next week.

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