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There was a sense of optimism entering the day after progress was made on salary cap issues during about 24 hours of talks over the previous two days. Then the sides brought the revenue split back into the discussion Friday and promptly got stuck on both issues.

Stern said the NBA owners were “willing” to go to 50 percent. But he said Hunter was unwilling to “go a penny below 52,” that he had been getting many calls from agents and then closed up his book and walked out of the room.

Hunter said the league initially moved its target down to 47 percent during Friday’s six-hour session, then returned to its previous proposal of 50 percent of revenues.

“We made a lot of concessions, but unfortunately at this time it’s not enough, and we’re not prepared or unable at this time to move any further,” Hunter said.

Union president Fisher said it was difficult to say why talks broke down, or when they would start up again.

“We’re here, we’ve always been here, but today just wasn’t the day to try and finish this out,” he said.

There was some good news.

Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said there was essentially a “tentative agreement” on most system issues, with Stern rattling off some of them: Owners agreed to keep the midlevel exception starting at $5 million a year; and contract lengths would be five years for players staying with their teams and four when leaving for another.

“And then we hit a wall,” Stern said.

The small groups that were meeting the previous two days grew a bit Friday. Union vice presidents Chris Paul — wearing a Yankees cap for his trip to New York — and Theo Ratliff joined the talks, and economist Kevin Murphy returned after he was unavailable Thursday. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stayed for the session after taking part Thursday.

Fisher said there were still too many restrictions in the owners’ proposal. Players want to keep a system similar to the old one, and fear owners’ ideas would limit player movement and the choices available to them in free agency.

And though they might be inclined to give up one if they received more concessions on the other, players make it sound as if they are the ones doing all the giving back.

The old cap system allowed teams to exceed it through the use of a number of exceptions, many of which the league wants to tweak or even eliminate. Hunter has called a hard cap a “blood issue” to players, and though the league has backed off its initial proposal calling for one, players think the changes owners want would work like one.

“We’ve told them that we don’t want a hard cap. We don’t want a hard cap any kind of way, either an obvious hard cap or a hard cap that may not be as obvious to most people but we know it works like a hard cap,” Hunter said. “And so you get there, and then all of a sudden they say, ‘Well, we also have to have our number.’ And you say, ‘Well wait a minute, you’re not negotiating in good faith.’”

But if players think what’s being proposed is a hard cap, here’s another warning: Silver won’t rule out the league seeking one again.

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