- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - NBA labor talks broke down Thursday after three days of meetings failed to yield a deal to end a 112-day lockout, raising the likelihood that even more games will be canceled in an already fractured season.

After 30 hours of negotiations before a federal mediator, the sides remained divided over two main issues _ the division of revenues and the structure of the salary cap system.

“Ultimately, we were unable to bridge the gap that separates the two parties,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We understand the ramifications of where we are. We’re saddened on behalf of the game.”

Union president Derek Fisher said players realized the ripple effect of the stalemate.

“This is not in any way about ego,” he said. “There are a lot of people’s livelihoods at stake separate from us.”

Without a deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern likely will decide more games must be dropped.

The season was supposed to begin Nov. 1, but all games through Nov. 14 _ 100 in total _ have been scrapped, costing players about $170 million in salaries.

“Hopefully, we can get back to the table, but certainly a tough day, a very tough day,” said Peter Holt, the labor relations committee chair and owner of the San Antonio Spurs.

Previously each side had proposed receiving 53 percent of basketball-related income after players were guaranteed 57 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

Silver said the league formally proposed a 50-50 revenue split Wednesday, and the union moved from 53 percent to 52.5 percent Thursday.

Asked whether the players would drop to 50 percent, Holt said he didn’t think it was that big of a jump but that the union did.

He said the league would not go above 50 percent “as of today. But never say never on anything.”

Stern has the flu and did not attend Thursday’s negotiating session.

Owners and players met with federal mediator George Cohen for 16 hours Tuesday, ending around 2 a.m. Wednesday, then returned just eight hours later and spent another 8 1/2 hours in discussions. The sides then met for about five hours Thursday, before calling it quits.

Cohen said the two sides weren’t able to resolve the “strongly held, competing positions that separated them on core issues.”

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