Fate of NBA season opener may be at stake in talks

By BRIAN MAHONEY | October 4, 2011 | 11:40 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Owners and players have arrived for a "very huge day" in the NBA, with perhaps the fate of the league's 82-game schedule at stake.

With both sides acknowledging they are nearly out of time to save the Nov. 1 opener, some level of progress seemed essential in a meeting Tuesday between their full bargaining committees.

The sides were first meeting among themselves, with the bargaining session expected to start at noon.

Union president Derek Fisher said Monday that a lot of signs pointed to Tuesday as "being a very huge day." His teammate Kobe Bryant was expected to take part, with Boston Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett among other players joining the union's executive committee.