Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
After meeting twice a week for most of the month, this is the only session scheduled this week. The two sides could continue bargaining past the deadline, but that probably requires owners to see evidence of the gap narrowing Thursday.
Otherwise, they could lock out the players for the first time since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games, though commissioner David Stern has refused to say what would happen if a deal is not done Thursday.
[...] The meeting Thursday will include just small groups from each side, after many players attended the last session. Without a deal, there will be no free agency starting Friday, and the summer league in Las Vegas has already been canceled.
Real games could be next to go. Stern has said the offers only get worse once a lockout has started, though there is still plenty of time even if nothing gets done Thursday.
"I don't see us missing any games. But I see it coming down to the wire, though," Stephen Jackson said.
The deal expires at midnight… and there is virtually no chance of a deal between now and then to avoid a lockout. And there's virtually no chance of enough progress to extend the deadline and avoid a lockout.
Of course, the lockout doesn't kick in automatically at midnight. The owners can decide to wait if they'd like. But they'll probably act quickly. And since the players won't actually lose any money over the summer (they don't get paid for next season until the season starts) they will dig in for a fight.
So that's where we're at. A lot of really rich people fighting over a ton of money getting ready to wipe our fun for a while.
The rest of the links
Herald: Celtics keep focus amid uncertainty | Cloudy future for Glen Davis | ESPN Boston: Grab bag: get your locks out | Podcast: Painter on Purdue picks | Transcript: Bird at Tradition | WEEI: Assessing the 2011 draft | Bird: I never would have coached at the old Garden