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David Stern Warns 'The Season Will Slip Away'

NBA commissioner David Stern continues to make the media rounds as his league sits idle. After telling WFAN on Thursday that the lockout would likely last past Christmas without a deal next week, Stern took it one step further Friday morning in an interview with ESPN.

Stern was asked if the owners are prepared to lose a season and he didn't flinch.

"If we don't have a deal and we sit around staring at each other and don't make a deal, the season will slip away."

He also continued to roast the union, painting them as unwilling to deal on NBA.com.

"How many times does it pay to keep meeting and to have the same things thrown back at you?" Stern asked rhetorically.  "We're ready to sit down and make a deal. I don't believe that the union is."

No matter which side you feel is "right" it's impossible to deny that Stern and the owners are dominating the union in the public battle. While Stern has been getting his point across clearly across multiple outlets this week as the sole voice of the owners' position, union executive director Billy Hunter is having a clown suit put on him by his players this weekend.

The union is holding a membership meeting in Los Angeles, but will be without LeBron James (taking in a soccer game in England), Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse midnight madness) and Chris Paul (photo shoot in North Carolina) right off the top. No doubt there will be many other big names that do not take part in Hunter's meeting.

How can Hunter and union president Derek Fisher can claim they are united when their stars are so willing to scatter for such trivial things instead of focusing on a new deal just doesn't add up at this point.

Another fruitless day of negotiating on Tuesday should provide Stern all the ammunition he needs to cancel as much of the season as he feels is necessary to prove to the players they need to start working on a deal and not just sitting on their hands.