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NBA owners, players scheduled to meet

As reported by Tom Ziller, the NBA Players Union and the owners are working on putting together the first bargaining session since the lockout began.  According to ESPN, this meeting could be held as early as Monday, August 1st.

Players are currently guaranteed 57% of total Basketball Related Income, a figure that owners are looking to cut considerably, among numerous other concessions.  Before the lockout ended the players offered to cut that number down to 54.6 percent.

While getting the key players on both sides in the same room talking is a step in the right direction, the overall outlook is still bleak.  The players agents have recently talked about  decertification, a move designed to put pressure on the league.  The two sides similarly held their first session in early August during the 1998 lockout, which lasted until an agreement was reached on January 6th, one day before David Stern's recommended deadline to save the 1998-1999 season.

The 2010-2011 season was the first year during the previous CBA's 6 year run where player salaries did not meet the minimum of 57% of total Basketball Related Income, resulting in the owners having to pay the players $188 million, $162 million that was held in escrow plus an additional $26 million.  Despite that, the league is claiming 22 out of 30 teams lost money over the last two years.