The NBA and players union have agreed to meet with a federal mediator on Monday, union Chief Billy Hunter told WFAN radio in New York. The sides have not met since David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season, but it now seems as though the parties are making efforts to resolve their conflicts. “We’ve agreed as of today that we’re going to meet with a federal mediator on Monday,” Hunter said.
In addition, league sources have confirmed that the parties are trying to schedule a labor meeting some time early next week.
George Cohen, director of the federal mediation and conciliation service, will be the mediator conducting these sessions, the same man who was assigned the NFL lockout. Cohen will offer suggestions to both sides, and after his session in New York City on Monday, the owners and union will meet in Cohen’s office in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
Hunter continued on to say that the players will get back to action before Christmas time and that the parties are close to a deal on the economic terms, but still far apart when it comes to the system issues. Many have said, however, that contacting a mediator is a good sign and the right person to see during a work stoppage.