NBA talks begin


NEW YORK, August 13 – LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul were among the players who attended contract talks between the NBA and the players' union on Thursday."It’s important for me that all of us, as being the faces of the NBA, to be involved in the negotiations and what’s going on," Anthony said as he left. "Our future is in jeopardy if we can’t come into a mutual agreement."

Chauncey Billups and Joe Johnson also attended.

Paul was scheduled to be there as a member of the players’ executive committee.

Players’ association executive director Billy Hunter said 14 players participated in the meeting. The sides agreed to hold another session before training camp so players can take part again.

"It was great conversation, great dialogue going back and forth," said Denver’s Anthony. "The communication was great. Hopefully we can come to an agreement soon."

The current collective bargaining agreement expires June 30, 2011.

The four-hour session was the first since the All-Star weekend in February, when players rejected a proposal from the owners.

The players’ association recently offered a proposal of its own, but NBA commissioner David Stern indicated it didn’t have enough of the changes sought by owners.

Stern has estimated the league will lose some 370 million dollars this season, which the union disputes.