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Optimism the buzz word around NBA talks

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From Cleveland to China, the message is clear that there is real hope the NBA and its players getting a new labour deal done in the coming weeks.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the league and its players will resume discussions on a new deal next week.

Those meetings will be a prequel to the league's Board of Governors session in New York on October 20 and 21, where the labour talks will surely be high on Silver's agenda of things to review with the full ownership.

"Why wouldn't I be optimistic about it?'' Cleveland star LeBron James said.

"First of all, I'm a player who loves the game and I see how our league is steamrolling right now.

"I've been a part of this league for 14 years and I've had one stoppage of play and it wasn't good for both sides.

"Over the last couple of years, I've seen our league grow more and more and more, so why wouldn't I be optimistic about it?''

In Beijing, where he was attending the NBA Global Games, Silver said he would return to the US on Thursday and then planned to pick up where talks left off.

He said he has been meeting with union representatives, including union head Michele Roberts and president Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as owners who are on the negotiating committee.

"Both sides have been very engaged and eager to get a deal done,'' Silver said.

The mere mention of optimism makes these talks considerably different than the often-dysfunctional discourse that went on five years ago, when the league and its players were so far apart that the 2011-12 season wound up getting shortened from 82 games per team to 66 - the result of a 161-day lockout that wounded both sides.

Either side can opt out of the existing 10-year contract in December. But with both sides in deal-making mode, a new deal could come before that.

"Nobody wants to have a lockout,'' Miami guard Goran Dragic said.

"I don't want to sit down at home and do nothing.

"I want to play basketball and hopefully the players union and the league are going to make a decision and that decision is going to be good for everybody."

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