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Stern, Hunter eye early talks

Updated: March 22, 2009, 12:38 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

NBA commissioner David Stern expressed cautious optimism this week that he can eventually broker a new labor agreement that pre-empts any threat of a work stoppage after the league's current deal with its players expires in June 2011, telling ESPN.com that he and NBA Players Association chief Billy Hunter will meet as early as May or June for "substantive" talks.

"Billy and I have agreed that we will sit down after my owners' meeting [in April], with fully fledged committees on both sides, ...

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