The NBA may not be able to avoid the labor strife that wrecked the baseball and hockey seasons, after all.
Owners have scheduled a lockout vote Monday in Chicago if an agreement with the union isn't reached by then, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Magic president Bob Vander Weide said late Wednesday night in Orlando the meeting is to discuss the progress on a new collective-bargaining agreement and to evaluate possible alternatives for owners and players this fall.
"I wouldn't categorize it as a lockout meeting," he said.
But when asked if a lockout vote could be taken, Vander Weide said, "Anything's possible."
He and Jack Swope, the Magic's executive vice president of business operations, will attend the meeting.
Donald Royal, the team's player representative, said he received information Wednesday from union head Charles Grantham but didn't have much time to review it. He said he would do that and talk with his teammates today.
"We don't want any kind of work stoppage," Royal said. "But there will be unity."
Other players were guardedly optimistic that the differences would be resolved without the league's first stoppage.
"Hopefully, we as players and owners can handle it in a professional way," Nick Anderson said. "We can keep playing and they can negotiate and set an example for baseball and hockey."
As with the baseball strike and the NHL lockout, the sticking point is the salary cap, which the NBA adopted in 1983. The league wants to close loopholes in cap rules, while the players are trying to abolish the cap.
_ Staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.