With owners and players still hundreds of millions of dollars apart and unable to agree on how to split the loot, the final negotiating session Thursday for a new labor deal is looking like an exercise in futility.
The two sides are scheduled meet in Manhattan, with only a small contingent of reps from both sides attending, rather than a full-blown meeting with dozens of players participating. There is a midnight deadline, but no one involved in the talks expects a midnight miracle.
As it stands, there is little chance that the owners decide to extend the deadline. No one involved in the talks expects any more progress than has already been made, and that's been nothing more than a few baby steps.
"There is nothing new," one dejected union voice said Wednesday. "Nothing has changed. Nothing at all."