(Reuters) - National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner David Stern warned on Thursday that the entire season could be in jeopardy if significant progress toward a collective agreement is not made early next week.
The NBA canceled the first two weeks of the regular season after owners and players were unable to resolve a bitter labor dispute on Monday.
The owners and players association are scheduled to meet separately with federal mediator George Cohen on October 17 and then jointly the next day for a bargaining session.
"Each side is going to meet with the mediator on Monday, and if there's a breakthrough, it's going to come on Tuesday," Stern said in an interview with David Aldridge for NBA TV.
"And if not, I think that the season is really going to potentially escape from us, because we aren't making any progress."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Peter Rutherford)