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Agents Raise Stakes With NBA Owners And Players Set For Big Day Of Meetings

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As the NBA labor negotiations continue to swing back and forth with negative and positive vibes, the owners and players will gather to meet again on today at lunchtime with expected new proposals on the menu.

While that sounds promising and certainly a positive development, ESPN's Ric Bucher procured a letter from six power agents warning the players not to sign any deal as they continue pushing for decertification. As ugly and nasty as that sounds, Bucher does a nice job of breaking down the rationale behind the agents' actions as a means to call, what they feel is David Stern's bluff with regard to the NBA's reported financial losses.

Player rep, Derek Fisher responded with his own letter to the players imploring them to stand with the NBPA as the negotiations come to a head. Any momentum towards a deal not seized today could result in lost games which in the end leaves it up to commissioner David Stern. How far is he willing to go?

After the jump, loads of lockout links including a look back at a 1998 column by Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post which predicts the predicament the league is in today.