The NBA canceled 24 exhibition games today and postponed the start of training camps indefinitely as the lockout went into its 86th day with only the faintest of hopes for a timely resolution.

The unprecedented loss of preseason games came one day after commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Russ Granik, union director Billy Hunter and union president Patrick Ewing met for about an hour at the union's offices.The sides, wondering whether there will be an atmosphere of compromise, discussed whether to resume formal talks at which the owners would be expected to present a new proposal.

But with owners looking for a definitive limit on salary costs and the union holding to its position that it won't agree to any kind of a "hard" salary cap, prospects for a speedy resolution appeared grim.