At thevery end of the players union press conference late Thursday night, a reporterasked executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher why theylooked so despondent.Hunterdeflected the question, saying the collective bargaining process had been along one, stretching back two-plus years. Hunter said the entire ordeal hasbeen draining, and thats no doubt true.ButHunter and Fisher may have been so forlorn because the realization of theirblowout loss to NBA owners was hitting home. Theres a chance that thefour-and-a-half month lockout could end by midweek.Thenagain, maybe the players reject the owners latest proposal and this wholething lingers. Or maybe even the players take the drastic step of decertifying,thereby throwing the stalemate into the courts and virtually ensuring acancelled season.Thats thepoint all the players options are pretty much awful, and it seems obvious Hunterand Fisher knew that on Thursday.NBAplayer representatives are meeting in New York on Monday, and its become clearmany rank-and-file players are pushing for a vote. Will Hunter and Fisher allowit to get that far? Well see.Also onMonday, commissioner David Stern issued another warning one of several duringthe past few weeks. He said the owners are done negotiating, and if the playerscome back with anything revised to the proposal theyre holding, the ownerswould go back to square one 47 percent BRI for the players; hard salary cap;rollbacks on existing salary.Whoknows? Maybe the NBA will be up and running by Wednesday or maybe this lockoutstill has a ways to go.Eitherway, its still all bad for the players. Hunter and Fisher knew that onThursday.