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NBA Lockout: Players, Owners Reach Out To 1999 Deal Maker

At this point why not? CBS Sports Ken Berger reports that both the league and the union have reached out to former union council Jim Quinn who helped broker the deal during the 1998-99 season.

Recent negotiations have broken down due to a strong emotional element coming from both sides. In other words, things have gotten personal between the owners and the players and that may require a respected outside voice to mediate the situation to a resolution.

Quinn would seem to fit that description as Stern would likely prefer seeing someone other than Jeffrey Kessler who is largely considered to responsible for driving the league's antitrust plan sitting across the table. Likewise, the union wouldn't be opposed to having Quinn there as someone who has stood up to Stern in the past.

The feeling is that the two sides will make one last push to try and save part of the season before sending the fight to the courtroom and antitrust action. However, it hasn't happened yet although the feeling is that there has been some back channel dialogue between the two sides.

The biggest hurdle Quinn or whomever faces with brokering deal is unifying the two sides. Hardliners from both the players and owners derailed negotiations earlier in the process and have not quieted their voices about hammering home a favorable deal. If it is going to happen, then it has to happen soon. Perhaps Jim Quinn is the man for the job.

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