Story highlights

The NBA lockout has gone on for three months

"We know our backs are against the wall," Derek Fisher says

"We can only say we are running out of time so many times," NBA official says

CNN —  

The start of the NBA season could depend on what happens at a pivotal meeting Tuesday between the owners and the players in New York.

National Basketball Players Association President Derek Fisher put it like this Monday: “We are aware of the calendar. We know our backs are against the wall in terms of regular season games and what those consequences will be.”

Added NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver: “We can only say we are running out of time so many times. We are getting close to the point where we are going to lose the rest of the preseason and have to start canceling regular season games.”

The sometimes bitter NBA labor struggle and lockout has now stretched to three months.

Last week , the NBA announced that it had postponed player training camps for the upcoming season and canceled all preseason games from October 9 to October 15 because the new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

Training camps were scheduled to open on October 3.

Representatives from both sides met over the weekend and Monday but no one reported significant progress. And there may have been a setback Friday as NBA Commissioner David Stern and Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade clashed. Wade reportedly yelled at Stern and called his tone condescending, CNN affiliate NESN reported.

The NBA began a lockout of its players in early July.

Stern has argued that the last season was not profitable for most of the league’s 30 owners and there was a need for some cost-cutting help from players.

The league lost as much as $300 million in the 2010-11 season, Stern has said.

One of the battles has been around the owners not agreeing to the players union’s call for an average $7 million player salary in the sixth year of a new labor deal.

The current salary average is about $5 million.

Other big issues is a fight over whether the NBA will strengthen its salary cap and a move by the owners to get a bigger share of revenues.

The last work stoppage occurred in 1998.