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NBA Lockout: Should We Be Optimistic?

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Should I be optimistic that yesterday's 5pm deadline came and went as the league and the players continued to negotiate into the night? Should I be optimistic that talks are going to resume again on Thursday and that despite Wednesday's soft deadline, no proposals have been pulled off the table?

Valid questions in my mind given the circumstances. On more than one occasion I have been optimistic that a deal was about to be made simply because it made too much sense for it not to happen. If I have learned anything from this lockout it is that common sense hasn't always been driving these negotiations.

Talks are scheduled to resume at noon on Thursday and neither side was committal to whether or not progress had been made.

"We're not failing and we're not succeeding," Stern said.

Despite the no comment coming from the league, Ken Berger reported on Wednesday night that Wednesday's talks were "incredibly optimistic" with both sides pushing for a deal.

I know we have heard it before but it really makes sense this time. David Stern and Billy Hunter appear to be losing their grip on this as the days tick off the calendar. Hardliners in ownership are looking to recoup losses from the cancellation of the first month of the season while players and agents are becoming restless with the amount of concessions made by Hunter and the union in negotiations. Those players and agents have explored seeking decertification which at this point could put the entire season in jeopardy.

So it makes complete sense that those in the room are pushing hard to complete a deal. Whether or not they can sell it to their respective groups will then be the question. If a deal can't be completed then this thing may spiral further out of control and out of the reach of Stern and Hunter which is a lose-lose situation for the 2011-12 season.