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NBA Lockout: No Deal, Doomsday Clock Stopped, No One Is Happy Or Sad, Talks Continue

While Joe Paterno was being fired and Penn State students were gathering for their party riot, optimism seemed to be building last night among those following the NBA labor negotiations that a deal to end the lockout was close. But then the players and owners kept talking and talking and as those talks went past midnight it was obvious they wouldn't emerge with a deal...yet.

Once again, the players and owners held separate news conferences in the early morning hours of Thursday to explain there was still no deal. But, they were not bound by any deadlines. In fact, David Stern said the clock is off...for now, putting the threat to "reset" the deal on hold. The two parties will meet again on Thursday starting at noon with no emotion. While progress was reportedly made, both sides implied they were neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I'd like to think they all feel like the rest of us now -- numb.

Despite the warnings to keep emotions in check, Adrian Wojnarowski offered a glimmer of hope from a league official.

"We can get there in the next day or two," one high-ranking league official briefed on the talks said. "But it's still a volatile process, and egos can still get in the way. ...But there's a lot of reason to be hopeful."

Hopefully the owners are checking out proposals to the hanging system issues and can gather enough support to give the go-ahead for a deal today. Here are a few links with all of the details heading into Thursday's talks.