NBA Lockout 2011: Backs To The Wall As Deadline Day Arrives

We have reached the point in the NBA lockout where a lot of toe prints can be seen in the sand. Translation: both sides have established their guidelines for a settlement and some kind of compromise will be needed or else the first two weeks of the regular season (at least) are in jeopardy.

Today was the day that was set as a quasi-deadline to either get a deal done or see games canceled. The exhibition season already has been nixed.

With the deadline and the stakes in mind, last-ditch talks are taking place on Monday in New York.

The stance of each side is pretty basic. The owners want a 50-50 split of basketball-related income, as well as harsh taxes for big-spending teams, lowering the mid-level salary cap exemption, and a narrowing of players "Larry Bird" exception right.

Players, meanwhile, are resisting lowering their split to 50 percent without leaving most of the old system in place, according to the story on Yahoo! Sports.

After both sides got together for meetings on Sunday, Players Association president Derek Fisher said that the issue was "not necessarily closer" to being resolved, but that the two sides were going to keep on talking.

NBA commissioner David Stern has said that the first two weeks of regular season games would be canceled if an agreement is not reached by today.

Fisher said that he would begin using social media to push for a settlement (that would be more in favor of players, no doubt), and that he and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, a member of the union's executive committee, would be sending out a Tweet.

"LET US PLAY", the Tweet will say.

Sounds like a really fine idea to me. But it will take some major willingness to bend but not break on the part of both sides.

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