- Associated Press - Thursday, January 20, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA and its players’ association will meet next month during the All-Star break as they try to make progress on a new collective bargaining agreement.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Thursday that the sides will have a negotiating session during the Feb. 18-20 weekend in Los Angeles.

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said last week while visiting Houston that no meeting had been scheduled, and the hectic All-Star weekend might not be conducive to serious negotiations. But he added the owners would be open to sitting down if the players wanted to, and something was set up within the last day.

“The union requested the meeting and was always interested in having a meeting at All-Star when the players will be available,” union spokesman Dan Wasserman said.

The CBA expires June 30, and though leadership from the sides have continued to meet, there has been little progress toward a deal, creating fears of a work stoppage.

A meeting on All-Star weekend gives the league’s superstars the option to join the players who make up the union’s negotiating committee. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett were among those who showed up last year in Dallas, when the players rejected the owners’ initial proposal.

The league hasn’t submitted another one, with Silver saying last week that was because “our position hasn’t changed.” With the NBA projecting losses of about $350 million this season, Commissioner David Stern said in October that owners want to reduce player salary costs by about $750 to $800 million annually.

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