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IC Cold Links: Stern Misses Messiest Day Of NBA Lockout

The NBA labor negotiations ran off the rails last night, turning into a frustrated "he said, he said" session after a week of muted responses. The outrage, faux and otherwise, from both sides seems about normal in this type of high-stakes, pro sports labor negotiation. The only problems is, it would've been nice to go through this in late August instead of October.

The contingent of hard-line owners are for now, getting their way with the richest owner, Paul Allen reportedly playing the role of the heavy yesterday to nuke away any progress that was made. Commissioner David Stern was out sick, thus missing the messiest day of the lockout. Coincidence? The hardliners took their pound of flesh yesterday and with it the likelihood of more game checks from the players, so now Stern can come in and bring the sides back toward a deal. Gotta cling to something, right?

The breakdown even sent federal mediator George Cohen scurrying back to D.C, as described nicely by Ken Berger.

Mediator George Cohen didn't run to the bar this time, he ran all the way back to Washington, D.C., leaving a terse statement behind like a vapor trail. Barely 24 hours after speaking of how committed the parties were to solving their problems, Cohen said, "No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time."

Berger has been among the faithful NBA writers staked out at the negotiations for far too many hours this week, and his column today captures the frustrations of a guy who just realized he won't be getting those 30 hours of his life back. His story and plenty more links after the jump.