NBA Lockout Update: Union Says They're 'Within Striking Distance,' Stern Says 'No Guarantees'

One side sounds a little too optimistic. And perhaps one side doesn't sound optimistic enough.

That's the story coming out of Thursday's negotiations between the NBA players and owners, who spent another seven and a half-hours trying to find a way to end the 2011 Lockout.

From Union Executive Director Billy Hunter (via ESPN):

"I think we're within reach and within striking distance of getting a deal. It's just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal."

To which NBA Commissioner David Stern replied:

"There are no guarantees that we'll get it done, but we're going to give it one heck of a shot tomorrow.  think that Billy and the union's negotiators feel the same way. I know that ours do ... we anticipate there will be some important and additional progress -- or not."

Stern's cautious approach likely stems from the fact that neither side has begun discussing the split of basketball-related income, the sticking point that has continued to doom negotiations from the beginning.

Players remain steadfast in their desire to earn a 52-48 split, and Hunter has not given any indication that his side would waver on that number.

With two weeks of the regular season already canceled, something's got to give -- and soon -- or the only thing these two will be splitting is cab fare.

Stay tuned.

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