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Thursday, January 27, 2011
LeBron James may attend labor meeting

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- LeBron James' All-Star itinerary could include both basketball and business.

James said Thursday he will probably attend next month's collective bargaining session between the NBA and its players' association in Los Angeles, where he hopes there will be some progress after a year of almost none.

James
James

"I think it's definitely something that's going to be a huge focus of All-Star Weekend," James said before his Miami Heat played the New York Knicks. "Even though the game is huge, I think the labor agreement will be one of the biggest meetings that we have that weekend, so hopefully we can get some things across."

The league and the union scheduled the meeting last week as they try to work toward a new deal to replace the one that expires on June 30. Though James doesn't think a deal can be reached in February, he says that "hopefully we can come together and have some things that we can agree on."

Though the players' committee is made up almost entirely of lesser players, James and a number of superstars showed up last year in Dallas, when the players rejected the owners' initial proposal for a new deal. There has been little progress since, triggering fears of a lockout.

James also attended another meeting last summer in New York.

"I've been there, pretty much I've had an active role, went to a few meetings," James said, adding he stays aware of the issues by speaking with teammate James Jones, a player representative.

James largely dodged questions about Carmelo Anthony, the focus of trade speculation all season as the Denver Nuggets consider trading their All-Star before he can become a free agent next summer. James said he wants his friend to be happy, whether that means staying in Denver or going to New York, his reported preference.