Source: NBA talks set for Tuesday

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Source: NBA talks set for Tuesday

NEW YORK -- With one round of cancellations behind them and more significant ones looming without a new labor deal soon, representatives for NBA players and owners will meet Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday for talks aimed at ending the lockout.

The union has canceled a regional meeting with players Tuesday in Miami so its negotiators can meet with league officials in New York instead, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the details are supposed to remain confidential.

Both sides said after meeting last week they hoped to talk again this week, but scheduling conflicts threatened to make that difficult. Union executive director Billy Hunter was supposed to travel to Miami on Monday to brief players Tuesday, and some members of both bargaining teams will be unavailable from Wednesday evening through Friday evening because of the Jewish holiday.

It's unclear who will take part in the talks, though the expectation is it will again be small groups. NBA Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt, who leads the labor relations committee, and senior vice president and deputy general counsel Dan Rube represented the NBA last week. Hunter, NBPA president Derek Fisher of the Lakers, attorney Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy were on the union side.

The bargaining session, first reported by CBSSports.com, comes just days after the league postponed training camps and canceled all 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9-15.

The remainder of preseason play would be in jeopardy without an agreement by early next week, and the Nov. 1 opening of the regular season could be scrapped by the middle of next month.

The slow pace of the negotiations has left players frustrated, but they insist still united with the lockout nearing the three-month mark.

"We support Billy 100 percent, we support D-Fish 100 percent," Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony said after an exhibition game Sunday in Philadelphia. "My main thing, we've just got to stick together. As players, we're sticking together."

Yet he also didn't rule out decertification of the union, a tactic NFL players used during their battle with the league but one that Hunter and Fisher have continued to reject thus far.

"If that's where we got to take it, that's where we got to take it," Anthony said. "Whatever it takes to get a season, that's what we want to do."

Two issues remain in the way of that. Players are resisting owners' desire for a hard salary cap, and have said owners want their share of basketball-related income to drop into the 40s after they were guaranteed 57 percent under the deal that expired at the end of the day June 30.

The news has been bad, but players still hope a deal can come in time to avoid losing games to a work stoppage for only the second time.

"Every report that you guys in the media is hearing, we're hearing the same exact thing, and we're just trying to get something done and hopefully something can get done," Houston Rockets player representative Kyle Lowry said. "If not, we're going to stick together as players, the players union, and hopefully something gets done."

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Big men continue to reign supreme in the NBA All-Star Saturday night skills competition.

New York Knicks 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis won it, beginning his journey by beating Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and ending it by besting Utah's Gordon Hayward.

Those vanquished in earlier rounds included guards John Wall of Washington and Isaiah Thomas of Boston, both because they couldn't make their initial 3-pointers required to close out the course before Hayward did.

Porzingis emerged from the big-men's division that included the Pelicans' Anthony Davis and Denver's Nikola Jokic.

Porzingis and Hayward were neck and neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his 3 first to end it.

The three-round, obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

NEW ORLEANS -- Chris Webber and Rollie Massimino are one step from the Hall of Fame.

The career 20-point-per-game NBA scorer and the coach who led Villanova to a stunning upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game were among the 14 finalists unveiled Saturday for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises, plus was part of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" group that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm most proud of," said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. "I'm proud to be in the room with all these great individuals."

Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut women's star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self, and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

"I still can't believe I'm here," McGrady said. "This is not even a dream come true."

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include star point guard and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway, winningest all-time boys high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach and four-time Division III national champion Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU women's national champion team Wayland Baptist University.

"We are grateful to the 14 finalists in the Class of 2017 for the impact they have had on the game we cherish," Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "To be named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment."

Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a finalist for the first time. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months - including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA title.

"Some days, we do take him for granted," Keiser guard Andrija Sarenac said. "But then you see him on TV so much, you see all these videos made about him, the movies about Villanova and everything, and it just hits you. You realize that he's a legend. I mean, your coach is a walking legend. With the energy and everything he comes in with, it's inspiring."

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year's candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton.

Former New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year's Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

"A tremendous honor," said Sager's wife Stacy.

This year's lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald "Dee" Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

"He bridged the gap between ownership and coaches," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who spoke about Goldberg on Saturday while wearing a bow tie - one of the signature wardrobe accessories that Goldberg donned for years. "He was just such a great guy."