It was really silly to expect something different.
The NBA and NBPA sat in room at the Sheraton New York for upwards of 16 hours yesterday (and early this morning). And when they emerged, well after you went to bed, they did something they rarely do: walk past reporters without comment.
The two sides will reconvene at 10 a.m. Cohen requested that both sides refrain from making public comments, and they obliged.
“Nothing has been agreed to,” said a person who was briefed on the talks. “There was nothing to say.”
The later the meeting dragged on, the more optimistic some people became. The thought was “wow, they’re in there a long time! They MUST be getting SOMETHING done.” Which may well be the case. The phrase “nothing’s been agreed to” just means there’s no deal. It doesn’t mean no progress.
And when you think about it, there was simply no way David Stern would come to an agreement at 2 A.M. He would not miss the chance to spin the return of NBA basketball as his personal triumph while most of the country was asleep. Stern is too image conscious for that. He’s going to that in the middle of the afternoon or early in the evening so all of us… reporters, bloggers, tweeters… can blow up the internet with the news.
The reports coming out of the meeting weren’t great, but we’ve heard wrong reports before. I don’t know what to assume anymore. 16 hours of talking feels like it should have yielded more progress than we’re hearing. Maybe the less-than-optimistic assessments are a smokescreen, or maybe they’re accurate.
Talks resume today after what will amount to a glorified breakfast break. Maybe the fatigue will wear some of these guys down and they’ll back off some of their most stubborn insistences. Or maybe they’ll just be extra-cranky and we’ll get nowhere. Just like everything else in this mess, we’ll have to just wait and see.