David Stern says it will be ''a challenge'' to reach a deal for a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires in a month.
The NBA Commissioner says the league is trying, though, scheduling a negotiating session with representatives from the NBA players' association on Wednesday to proceed the two meetings that were already set up for next week.
Speaking before Game 1 of the NBA finals on Tuesday night, Stern says a deal to prevent a work stoppage will depend on whether both sides ''will be bold enough to do what has to be done here.''
Owners are seeking major financial changes to the deal that expires June 30. Without an agreement, the owners could then lock out the players.