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Report: NBA Owners, Players, Both Communicating With Potential 'Deal-Maker'

As recently as Monday, it was being reported that NBA owners and players had not spoken since the players disclaimed their union and filed lawsuits against the league. While that may be technically true, it now appears that both sides have reached out to a third party who has "an impeccable reputation as a deal-maker," according to a report from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

Attorney Jim Quinn has tremendous experience dealing with labor disputes in professional sports in general, as well as specific experience with the NBA and commissioner David Stern.  According to Berger, Quinn was instrumental in ending the 1998-99 NBA lockout, and has represented the players  in a number of collective bargaining agreements and lawsuits over the years.

Although this is the first glimmer of hope in some time for salvaging the 2011-12 NBA season, Quinn's comments to Berger should serve to keep any optimism in check.

"The most favorable outcome is that they somehow get together quickly and reach an agreement so that they can have a reasonable season," Quinn said. "I hesitate to guess what most likely outcome is.

"I think both sides want a settlement," he said. "I just don't know whether they can get one quickly."

According to Berger, people on both sides of the issue  believe that a deal would have to be done this week in order for the NBA to salvage their showcase Christmas Day games.

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