NBA owners hold conference call

By Brian Mahoney

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17 2011 9:30 p.m. MST

Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Milwaukee Bucks' Luc Mbah a Moute arrive for a players' association meeting in New York, Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. Player representatives from NBA teams are meeting to discuss the league's proposal for a new labor deal.

Associated Press

NEW YORK — NBA owners held a conference call Thursday to receive an update on the lockout, a person with knowledge of the details said.

Also Thursday, the antitrust lawsuit filed by players in California was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti. The first case management conference has been scheduled for March 9.

Though that would be too late to save the season, the sides could request the date to be moved up, or they could settle before it ever got that point. Attorney David Boies, representing players in an antitrust lawsuit against the league in California, said he hoped it wouldn't be necessary to litigate the case all the way through.

Representatives for the players have also said the league could let the players return while negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement continued, though that seems unlikely.

The players' association disbanded Monday, and players filed two lawsuits Tuesday, one each in California and Minnesota.

The conference call involving the league's Board of Governors was not in response to the litigation, but rather a planned update on the status of the collective bargaining negotiations, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the details were to be kept private.

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