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Optimism Surrounds Latest NBA Lockout Talks

Optimism has captured the hearts and souls of many a basketball fan during the NBA lockout before being cruelly pulled away like Lucy all too often pulled the football out from in front of Charlie Brown's foot. Once again, however, the negotiations have opened up room for optimism.

Wednesday's meetings apparently went well as the owners and players met for more than 15 hours before agreeing to resume talks at 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. If Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski's source are right, and they usually are, it sounds as though Thursday might be the day to get a real deal done.

"Clearly, things happened [in recent days] to get this from a ‘sad, sad day for the NBA' and ‘you were just lied to,' to a current tenor where all signs point to the real possibility of a deal," one source briefed on the talks late Wednesday told Yahoo! Sports.

Another of Wojnarowski's sources said  that "they need [Thursday] to punch it over end line," lending credence to the idea that the two sides are close enough that just a couple of details need to be agreed upon before a deal is reached.

Now all basketball fans to need to hope for is anything but another epic disaster and further delays to the NBA season.