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Is there finally some progress being made towards an end to the lockout?

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As information comes out about this past Tuesday's negotiation meetings between the Owners and Players, it seems as though the two sides came closer to finding some middle ground then any time before. For the most part, all we've heard is how far apart they are in trying to agree on terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, but now it looks like they were on the brink of making some serious headway.

The players' proposal to drop their percent of basketball-related income from 57% (in the previous agreement) down to 52-53% was thought to be fair by both commissioner David Stern and head of the owners' executive committee Peter Holt. Considering the lack of willingness to budge on their stance in previous weeks, this move was looked at with optimism by the owners.

With that being the case, the owners were apparently discussing the possibility of coming off their demand for a salary freeze as well as allowing players' future earnings to be tied into the NBA's revenue growth, both of which are very big negotiation points. The owners were also supposedly going to allow the players' to keep their current salaries without suffering any rollbacks.

After these points had been discussed among both sides, the players and owners left the meeting seemingly feeling good about the progress that had been made. Soon after, the owners held a meeting with one another that lasted for a few hours. This was to go over everything that had been said during the negotiations and make sure they were all on the same page. Unfortunately, they weren't.

Just when they thought that some progress was being made, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Suns owner Robert Sarver spoke out and expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed changes. A source from inside the meeting said that when Gilbert and Sarver spoke up, Knicks owner James Dolan and Lakers owner Jerry Buss weren't shy about hiding how annoyed they were.

Following months of getting nowhere, just when it looked like there was some kind of progress being made, its looking like a couple of ‘party poopers' rained on the parade. Being both a Heat fan and a basketball fan in general, hearing that there could have been a deal struck or at least some progress towards a deal, and then hearing that of all people Dan Gilbert threw a wrench into the gears, its more then just a little annoying.

So now instead of preparing to go back to the players and get even closer to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the owners must work on figuring out amongst each other exactly how much they are willing to bend. As for us fans, we still get to sit back and wait, hoping and praying that everything gets ironed out in time for the season to begin when it's scheduled to in early November.

For now though, we Heat fans have yet another reason to hold some hostility towards the classy, professional, mature and unselfish owner known as Dan Gilbert.