We Have (The Makings Of) A Deal!

– For labor updates, follow: @daldridgetnt | @AschNBA

NBA.com’s Labor Central

After 15 hours of negotiations Friday-into-Saturday –- and 149 days of lockout start to finish -– representatives of the NBA owners and players reached a tentative deal on settling their various lawsuits that should lead to a new collective bargaining agreement that will salvage a shortened 2011-12 season beginning on Christmas Day.

Details of what will become a new labor contract still were vague when the meeting ended after 3 a.m. ET at a New York law office. But the bones of a deal reportedly call for the players to receive a “band” share of basketball-related income ranging from 49 percent to 51 percent depending on the league’s growth (with a more reasonable shot at 51 than in previous offers). A laundry list of system issues, meanwhile, are intended to make the NBA more competitive across its 30 teams.

NBA commissioner David Stern and Billy Hunter, the former executive director of the players’ former union, met with reporters in an impromptu joint news conference shortly after the meeting.

“We’ve reached a tentative understanding,” Stern said, “that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations. But we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin on December 25th, Christmas Day, with a triple-header.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve come this far. There’s still a lot of work to be done in a lot of places, with a lot of committees and player groups and the like. But we’re optimistic that it will hold and we’ll have ourselves an NBA season.

Stern said the owners’ labor relations committee would be briefed Saturday, with the agreement passing then to the overall Board of Governors. The commissioner said he expects both bodies to endorse the deal.

Said Hunter: “We’re going to turn it all over to the lawyers here and have them work out all the details. We’ll be able to then talk with you further as that process proceeds.” It could take a week to 10 days for the players to re-form their union and ratify a formal CBA.

Stern and Hunter did share a few details on the shortened season. A 66-game regular-season schedule, first reported by the New York Times Wednesday, is likely, pushing the start of a full playoff bracket a week or so later into spring. The plan is for training camps and free agency to both begin on Dec. 9, though details remained sketchy. All-Star Weekend in Orlando, initially set for Feb. 24-26, is expected to be preserved.

Technically, the talks that stretched from noon Friday into the wee hours Saturday were aimed at settling the antitrust lawsuit filed last week by the players when they dissolved their union. But the essence of that settlement will serve as the new CBA, assuming remaining “B-list” issues are worked out, lawsuits by both the players and the league (anticipating the union’s disclaimer of interest) get dismissed, the union gets re-formed with the league’s approval and the deal is ratified by both the NBA’s 30 owners and its 430-plus players.

The “A-list” issues, though, were the ones that had hung up the season, forcing what will be an opening night delayed by 55 days. They’re the ones that caused bargaining to break down Nov. 14 and they’re the ones that needed to be addressed to both sides’ satisfaction –- or tolerable dissatisfaction -– for the tentative agreement to get struck.

Finding middle ground on those was key. Among them:

– The mid-level exception for non-taxpaying teams will have a maximum length of four years every season (instead of alternating at four years, then three years). Starting salary can be as much as $5 million.

– There apparently will be a “mini” MLE for taxpaying teams, restricting the amount they can offer to free agents.

– A 10 percent maximum escrow tax will be withheld without the unlimited “true up” amount requested by the owners in their previous offer.

– Extend-and-trade deals –- as used by Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks last season –- will be modified but not eliminated in a new CBA. That could impact players such as Orlando’s Dwight Howard and New Jersey’s Deron Williams.

– A new benefits pool for players equivalent to 1 percent of BRI will include annuities for retired players ages 35-50, as well as funds for continuing education.

– The “match” period for restricted free agents will be reduced from seven days to three days. Qualifying offers are expected to be increased.

– Other compromises were believed to have been reached on the “repeater” luxury tax penalties to be paid by teams exceeding the tax threshold in four of any five seasons. Among the “B-list” issues are the age limit for entry to the draft (possibly upping to 20 years and two years out of high school), drug testing modifications, discipline and D League assignments.

Derek Fisher, the president of the currently disbanded National Basketball Players Association and veteran guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, said: “The most important key thing here is our fans, and the support from the people and the patience through a large part of this process. That’s where a lot of this credit goes to. The efforts that have been made have been largely with them in mind.”

The lockout was imposed by the owners on July 1 in their quest to reduce the players’ share of compensation (previously 57 percent of BRI) to address more than $300 million in losses last season. They also cited an equal but separate goal of improving competitive balance within the league by limiting the flow of talent to the league’s biggest-spending teams.

“I think it will largely prevent the high-spending teams from competing in the free agency market in the way they’ve been able to in the past,” Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. “It’s a compromise. It’s not the system we sought out to get in terms of a harder cap, but the luxury tax is harsher than it was in the past deal. We hope it’s effective. … We feel, ultimately, it will give fans in every community hope that their team can compete for championships.”

Said San Antonio owner Peter Holt, chairman of the labor relations committee: “I appreciate what Billy and Derek and the players have compromised on because it will allow us, as a small market, to be competitive. Create more parity across the 30 teams. We’re really excited … we’re excited for the fans, we’re excited to start playing basketball.”

From the start, the players were faced with concessionary bargaining. They had lowered their offers on BRI from 57 percent to 53 percent to, eventually, a willingness to accept a 50-50 split – with certain considerations in system issues. Among them: reconfigured salary-cap exceptions, sign-and-trade deals, escrow-money withholding and added restrictions on teams above the luxury-tax threshold.

When the owners’ most recent offer from Nov. 10 still did not meet with their approval, the players’ 30 team representative chose to pursue the antitrust litigation. The plan: Either gain leverage for an out-of-court settlement or, failing that, convince the courts that they were due triple damages worth as much as $6 billion (based on the players’ annual $2 billion in compensation).

Hiring noted antitrust attorney David Boies, the players filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court in Minneapolis. But Boies from the start suggested that a settlement would be the most expeditious route to a resolution – especially if both sides were serious about saving some version of a 2011-12 season.

The likelihood of a settlement seemed slim as the week began, with Boies admitting that never side had even picked up the telephone to initiate talks. But that reportedly changed when Jim Quinn, a longtime adversary of Stern from his work dating back to the Oscar Robertson suit against the league in the 1970s, right up through the 1998-99 lockout, got involved. Quinn worked back channels to get the sides talking, with some contact Tuesday and then again Friday for what became the final, marathon session.

The players were represented Friday by Hunter, Fisher, Maurice Evans, attorney Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy. The NBA’s reps were Stern, Silver, Holt, attorney Rick Buchanan and economist Dan Rube.

The sides met at the law offices of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, where Quinn works. Actually, Quinn, Boies and players’ attorneys Jonathan Schiller and Jeffrey Kessler were not in the room. But Kessler, who has had a contentious relationship with Stern and the owners, apparently still make his presence felt. According to Yahoo! Sports, he participated at one point via speaker phone and proposed that the players get a 51 percent share of BRI. He reportedly was rebuffed by Stern and Holt before or after a separate conference call with the labor relations committee.

Perhaps more than the litigation, the calendar provided the urgency to complete the tentative deal, with Christmas an annual highlight of the league’s schedule. Stern has said that 30 days will be needed from a handshake agreement to the tipoff of any regular season, so the math working forward from Friday was simple.

In 1998-99, when the NBA also lost regular season games to a labor lockout, a collective bargaining agreement was reached on Jan. 6. A 50-game schedule began on Feb. 5 and ran until May 5, with a full playoff bracket after that.

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann and TNT’s David Aldridge contributed to this report.

159 Comments

  1. kidhockey says:

    Billionaires fighting with millionaires over percentage points….

    Derek Fisher says “Thanks to the fans for helping us get a decision done”

    Like we had a choice ? …now we are supposed to be happy for a meaningless shortened season” they have saved ?”

    why dont you people here who are fawining over the end of the lockout, step back and take a look at the bigger picture here ?

    David…start watching other sports…thats sad man….

    They have lost my patronage….

  2. me says:

    yeah right…, but it still doesnt change the fact that all of them are greedy. would i spend my time, money and energy on greedy millionaieres?

  3. purple shag says:

    It’s great for the game, it’s great for the ‘Fish’ & it sure is great for us fans. But is it great for LeBron?

    http://therestijustsquandered.com/2011/11/28/handshakes4hoops/

    Soon it’s time to get to the business at hand, but in the meantime enjoy the read.

  4. Rei says:

    YESSSSS!!!! finanlly!!!

  5. bob says:

    I have been a fan for twenty years, until this year all us poor working people are struggling to get by and save up to maybe be able to go to one game while the players are upset that they only make 5 million a year. I will never watch another NBA game. They don’t care about the fans, just how much money they make. Instead of caving to the players they should have offered the D league or un drafted college players. I’m sure they would be happy to make 200,000 a year.

  6. Roy says:

    SO WHAT?? I DONT CARE. MAYBE ALL OF THESE OTHER PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN. BUT THE NBA IS STILL NOT GETTING A DOLLAR MORE FROM ME.

  7. Richo says:

    YEEHAA. Welcome back NBA. Its a pity it took this long, but cant wait for XMas day for another 3(triple header) reasons. And to all the haters, dont watch. I wont care. But dont clog up a blog that is clearly positive and turn it into a bi#@h session about how greedy the owners/players are. We all know this, we have been reading about it for 149 days now. Now we just want to think about games, 66 each sounds alright. And no loss of the All-Star Weekend either. Sound to me like the owners finally came to their senses.
    Either way, I am totally stoked to have NBA back. Lets get the deal ratified and bring on training camp and free agency and best yet…fantasy basketball.

  8. Victor says:

    NBA my life, my love…. Thank you!!!!!

  9. Anthony says:

    Basketball is back

  10. paul says:

    finally loct out ends

    xcited to see the lakers redeem themselves and win the 2012 championship

  11. Flip23 says:

    Finally the lock is done.all the BS all bout the fan…at the end of the day its all about the greedy players and owners…Derek Fisher you suck as both President of the Players and a Basketball player aint know one watch basketball cuz of your sorry behind.

  12. Flip says:

    Yes FinaLLy the MIAMI HEAT can dominate :)

  13. JP says:

    FINALLY, THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. robert says:

    I feel real bad for the people that support their families with job supporting the NBA. Unfortunately the NBA commissioner, the NBA player, and the NBA owners are willing to support those people in their talks. Just think all the money people saved by not buying tickets and all the families that couldn’t make ends meet because there was no ticket sales.

  15. KaiDub24 says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it, already got my hopes up too many times only to watch them crash and burn…

  16. James says:

    I’m not sure Stern has the votes for this deal. it favors big market teams over little ones.

  17. christian says:

    game on!!!

  18. Joshua says:

    Yes now we can act like fanboys and criticize the teams we hate!(Just Kidding) I’m totally stoked for the start of the season on Christmas. Better late than never!

  19. RoseJordan23 says:

    I’m like close to tears that they’re about to figure this stuff out!

  20. Desi says:

    Finally!! I’ve been missing you NBA season.. I almost lost hope but I’m sure glad to see you back so my Celtics can get at them Heat!! Gonna be great.. My team (Celtics) against my boyfriends team (Heat)!!

  21. jesus says:

    finally they made a deal on the 50%/52% arguements lol…. yay.

  22. terry says:

    I am absolutely ecstatic at this news. I hope this deal goes thru. I LOVE BASKETBALL!!!! IT DESERVES A LOT MORE RESPECT; in spite of the fake fans,haters,the owners and the commissioner to kill the sport.

  23. DrPepper434343 says:

    Awesome

  24. CB says:

    The players and owners are both greedy and no one is without fault because they were only thinking about themselves. WE FINALLY HAVE SOME BASKETBALL AND FOR ALL OF YOU THAT SAID YOU WOULD NOT WATCH GUESS AGAIN BECAUSE YOU WILL BE WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Absolutely RA Fan#1, the stadium will be packed? With beds and furniture? Whoo knows, One always’ need a dresser. And Pom Poms for shizzle. The thing is, R the bathrooms Rented? JK… I have Not in fatness been there to date… I’ma Cowwwwch Tater, and Hate the Knicks! If you’re fighting to OWN the league, You’re Stoopid! Point bank shot, ‘cut net. The fans own this anyway obviously, they pay to play… Did someone really get 25 to life in the stadium store from stealing an NBA Iced Out X-Mas Day Game Golden Ticket Money Game Flag Pendant off of David Stern?!

  26. LEBRONJAMES says:

    MIAMI HEATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Chuck Bolton says:

    I think it is the epitome of bad taste the NBA starts their season on the sacred religious holiday for most Americans: Christmas. It is bad enough the NBA historically schedules games on this day. But to start the season on Christmas, while your marketing/advertising engines and bed partner, ESPN, takes attention and respect away from this sacred day by hitching the wagon of the NBA to Christmas Day is appalling, in my view. Where’s the sense of decency and respect? Very disappointed in NBA. Start a few days earlier, a few days later, but not on Christmas Day.

    • Carlos says:

      Are you living in the 1700’s? There are a lot more greedy institutions (like every retailer) that pimps and exploits christmas…and occosionally even invent holidays just to make more money.

      For me, a celebrator of Christmas AND basketball…there’s nothing better than watching a triple header with the family. Relax

  28. blackmamba24 says:

    Is jon on here I wonder… He was in my fantasy league last year and he won it all, jon where are you… I’ve been looking for you lets create another league this year!!

  29. blackmamba24 says:

    Finally can’t wait to create a Fantasy league… Leggo Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Umm… Game on X-Mas? You’re joking riigth? too too funny… anyway, when these guys watch the jumbotron do they realy sit on the floor w/ a towel?

    ARE THE LOCKER ROOM AND GYM Cameras WORKING AT THIS TIME JUNIOR? 25yrs at the stadium store? Damnnn, I hope you guys are stiill hungry? Everrrrrr…. LOL

  31. lenin cruz says:

    finally i miss the nba

  32. america says:

    thank god it is starting up again!!! its about time!!!! now its time to see my LA Lakers win the championship again ;P GO LAKERS!!!

  33. BigDraws says:

    Oh i cant wait til the season starts, already getting goose bumps NBA has a wonderful triple header for x-mas day couldn’t ask for better matchups.

  34. Joshua says:

    Santa Claus exists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  35. ray allen #1 fan says:

    some serious cry babies on here, NBA isn’t life or death…yes it was poor for things to take this long but it did and now its over. They will play ball, it will be exciting and YOU WILL WATCH!

    Stop acting like the garden won’t be filled up with people excited to watch games or just excited to have something else to do! I know I’ll be there christmas day watching my Celtics beat down the knicks!!

    GET OVER THE DRAMA AND ENJOY LIFE!

  36. Shanta says:

    All I can say is: Can you feel the heat down in your soul…. Can you feel the heat .. There in control… I feel it. It MIAMI HEAT!!!!!!!!! YES BABY. THANK YOU, NBA..

  37. jJosephslive says:

    With John C on that one. The NBA was too late to change my mind about watching them but i’m gonna still continue to watch College ball because its waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more exciting and a lot more fundamentals then the NBA is now. Why couldn’t it be like the greatest back then where they would actually play as a team to win.

  38. ray allen #1 fan says:

    LETS GO CELTICS!!! 66 GAME SEASON WILL HELP US WIN!!

  39. Silvana says:

    Yess!! What a great Christmas gift to me! Yes the lockout was annoying and everyone involved looks like greedy people for shortening our season, but I cant hold a grudge, I love basketball too much :D

  40. Pervert Cain says:

    People went out and bought TV yesterday, but NO GAMES!!

    What’s the DEAL YO’??

  41. catamount62 says:

    Welcome back, you greedy bastards….

  42. Lakers24 says:

    Lakers all the way!

  43. Celtics fan says:

    Ugh all of you stop moaning! I swear this “wahhh Im sick of the nba whaaa theyre greedy im not gonna watch”. If you don’t like the NBA then get out of here! As for the rest of us, its over! Its over, the 149 day nightmare is finally over! Time to break out the shamrock cookies and release the green and white balloons cuz its finally over!!!!

  44. DC says:

    I like basketball, but they can sit out 2 years as far as I care!

  45. I cried tears of joy knowig that the game I love with the players I respect will soon be my center of attention again. I love the NBA and its message. I am the biggest and most true Spurs and NBA fan. GO spurs GO.

  46. John C says:

    I am sick of the NBA at this point. They all have the greatest jobs in the world, to play a game and makes millions doing it while being practically worshiped by basketball society for being the best of the best and yet that simply wasn’t enough for them. I am not wasting my time watching the nba when i can just continue to watch college basketball where the players play with heart and for a love of the game because the only thing they play for is a championship and school pride, not money.

    • Ron says:

      I’m completely done with the NBA as well.

    • Gary says:

      If your sick of it then leave the blogs alone and don’t comment. Same for Ron. Fans are happy about some good news and yet we still have to hear b***hing from disgruntled people who have to reason to be. Just leave please.

      • kidhockey says:

        He’s got as much right to express his displeasure over the situation, in as much as you have the right to express you are happy its over…I agree with him..give your head a shake

  47. erwatheman says:

    and what about basketball in europe?

  48. TD says:

    It’s about time the players stopped being greedy! I understand this is a business but the players were being disrespectful to the fans that come to watch and pay their pay checks. No fans no money! I know the players want everything but they don’t own the business they just work for it!

  49. Denise says:

    It was NOT the players holding things up it was the OWNERS! The players made conessions to the OWNERS and lots of cuts, I think the OWNERS realized.. well most of them realized they will lose a lot more money if the season were to be scrapped.
    BASKETBALL ON CHRISTMAS DAY SOUNDS GREAT!!

    • DC says:

      No…the billionaire owners will make money elsewhere, like they did to become billionaires. What else can be a player do besides whine?

  50. Kbryant says:

    go lakers beat dallas and miami

  51. Disgruntled Fan says:

    Pack sand NBA. I’m not spending any more cash for greedy millionaire players and greedy billionaire owners. You forgot there is a 3rd party in the negotiations, the cash-cow fan and consumer. What do they get out of the CBA except a fleecing? I’m guessing higher ticket prices are on the way.

    The college game is better anyway.

  52. Peter says:

    I’m a longtime diehard NBA fan but unfortunately I gotta agree partially with Damien here. Even though I love the NBA and probably will never stop watching it but it has become much more dependent on physical skills than teamwork and funtamentals… As a basketball fan that’s a bit sad…

    • Denise says:

      ofcourse it depepnds on phyiscal more than mental. dont you know.. in most sports, except GOLF, that if you think too much instead of do, or react you stunt your slef and wont get the job done?

    • Gary says:

      Did you miss this year’s finals? The team with the more talented players lost. The team that worked hard and played together won.

  53. talia says:

    SO greedy. I love basketball…but feel sorry for the minimum wage workers in the arenas that have been missing their few hundred dollar paychecks while the already rich fight about millions….College ball has heart- and this lockout proves the difference between people who have “the love of the game”

  54. DOE says:

    THIS IS THE ONLY THING I WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS AN NBA SEASON!

  55. meril912 says:

    Some of these players and owners may be ungreatful brats but they’re finally getting their heads screwed on right…I hope there are no more hickups because I need NBA Basketball in my diet. Oh NBA how I missed you..

  56. JoJo says:

    Great! Another season of the same few teams who actually have a shot at getting into the NBA Finals. I will gladly spend money on tickets when the NBA has competitive balance like the NFL.

    Right now we have a bunch of professional AAU teams that do not give a rip about the entire league but do care that they get paid. Superstars that get preferential treatment on the court, self centered players that put themselves above the team.

    NBA Who Cares? The only people i care about are the workers who lost rvenue and actually need it. No one mentions about those jobs lost but why would they…. they are the NBA!

    • Denise says:

      you better go back to D,Fish commment about fans and workers lsing theor pay. IMO Owners tried to NOT GAF, but I think tye realize THEY are ADDING to the unemployment problems in the USA……
      PLEASE remember THE OWNERS LOCKED THE PLAYERS OUT, THE OWNERS STILL HAVE THE CONTOLL

  57. Gurjeet says:

    Finally, there is going to be a NBA season! Mad hyped! Lego Knicks!

  58. Ankhbayar says:

    That’s great! A long waited news has come finally. Even it is a short season, all NBA fans including me from Mongolia will watch some wonderful moments of basketball. NBA is great joy for many millions of people around the world.

  59. NBA #1 Fan says:

    YES!!! I was so excited to read this news!
    It has been so disappointing to see the tremendous greed of both the players and the owners – they didn’t care at all about the regular wage workers at the arenas who lost paychecks or the small businesses around the arenas.
    However, I will still be excited to watch NBA games on Christmas day.
    Hopefully everyone votes in favor of the new agreement and teams and players get back to work for the people whose opinions should matter most, the fans!

  60. Doc says:

    I am sick of both greedy sides…..I asked the Cavs for a refund for my season tickets….they are giving me a hard time….they have lost the support of a long time season ticket holder….

  61. Chona Tagalog says:

    Thank you so much. i miss NBA so much. I love MIAMI heat!! LEBRON and WADE

  62. margarette_03 says:

    for real?? hope they sign the contracts as soon as possible.. makes the deal final and all.. my my.. happy Christmas.. :)

  63. stacy James says:

    Well the Players sure got screwed on this one, and they are going to hate themselves for taking this deal. I really do hope some of the people responsible for this travesty, particularly David Stern and all those Owners, Lawyers and scum bag Judases like Michael Jordan suffer the loss of their dignity by some horrific calamity which befalls them one at a time in perfect order of culpability!!! I’m a huge fan of basketball. I am not a huge fan of Owners and their idiotic business practices that does not permit them to generate a profit on 43% of BRI and all other revenue combined.

  64. i glad the lockout is over with bring on some basketball please.

  65. Alex K says:

    This is really exciting news. However I’ve been excited about an agreement before.

    Poll: The NBA owners and players have reached a tentative agreement to end the lock out. Will it be approved to start games Dec. 25?

    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/5614631/

  66. jsox says:

    finnaly im the 1 fan and i was going to hate nba thanxs fisher

  67. david says:

    this is not victory for any sides …its a victory for the fans …

  68. Doncha says:

    gr8 news..

  69. Jeffrey Talan says:

    Nice. Go LakeRS!!!

  70. FreeDubay says:

    This was good for today’s players not to receive a paycheck for a month or two so that they can realize the sacifices of the players of before the 1980’s made.

  71. Filip says:

    The greatest gift for a catholic christmas!

  72. quarogg says:

    Weve been waiting for so long, cant wait to see the action begins. to Damien: Stay watching your boring Euroleague. zzzzzzzzzzz!!!!

  73. NBA Fan says:

    I love basketball as much as everybody, BUT this has gone on too long..For anybody to think that starting the season at the end of Dec. is going to make for a saved season is kidding them self.Its a Joke now and they just need to start over next year and hope the fans come back.I might.

  74. QueenJAMEsCHOKE says:

    Finally..better late than never,, it’s time MAVSNATION.. we are going for BACK2BACK!!!..LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!!

    • AB says:

      the MAVS again? nah, no way..im glad Kidd and some others got theirs…Dirk is better than I imagined, but, again, no way.

  75. QueenJAMEsCHOKE says:

    Finally..better late than never,, it’s time MVASNATION.. we are going for BACK2BACK!!!..LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!! LETS GO MAVS!!

  76. Diego a.k.a Black mamba says:

    FINALLY THE NBA IS BACK AND WHAT A WAY TO START IT OFF WITH THE NBA MVP AND OF COURSE #24 KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBE BRYANT!!!!!!!!!!!! ON HIS WAY TO THE 6TH RING BOIIIIIII!!

  77. josh says:

    Finally carmelo and stoudemire get to play a longer season together.Totally pumped.

  78. Matteo says:

    Bella lì che si comincia!
    Ready for fun!
    Saluti dall’Italia

  79. Jerrome says:

    It will take much more than 149 days to win loyalty sure I will attend a game or two, But never and I mean never will I ever purchase season tickets, invest in the NBA ( shoes, socks, Jerseys, hats etc), My zeal for the game is dead with my credit card for NBA purchases.

    Now comes the PR, with players and owners shaking hands to unify the acceptance, which point they begin thanking fans coupled with a goodwill tour showing strength in their brand, Yes this will be a funny PR move. From my view point and only my view point, this NBA prior to the Lockout was on life support.

    The players are out of control, there is generally no team play, its ME! ME! ME!, coaching is poor and the overall respect for the game is poor. Did the Lock out fix this, will the product behavior improve, No!!!!
    For some reason in the past I thought the NBA worked for me, the fan, Well I see not, sooooo NBA I will never buy season Tickets, one or two games is about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know I am just one fan so to become an X-fan, you the NBA has shown you care more for the big dollar than my little dollar.

    • Gary says:

      Shut up and just be glad their will be some games this year. Damn people are so damn self-centered. The world doesn’t revolve around you and things like this happen sometimes.

  80. TS says:

    Do you think my neighbors would get mad if lit some fireworks off at 5 a.m.?

  81. TS says:

    I knew it, God does indeed play basketball. YAAAAAAAY!!

  82. DOM says:

    HELLLL YEAAAA MANNN IM SOOO HYPED UPPPP!!!! CMON BOSTON!!!! FIRST GAME VS THE KNICKS ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!! BEST PRESENT EVER!!!

  83. MaFox says:

    OH SH1T TO ALL TEH DOUBTERS, YALL GOT JACKED UP. NBAAAAAAAAAAA YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  84. Chris says:

    Does anyone know if the entire schedule for year will be scratched and totally redone, or will all games that were on the schedule starting December 25 into April remain, with a number of additional games added to the schedule for the off-days? This logistically is going to present a real challenge in order to have a fair and balanced schedule for all teams. Will the teams still play teams in the opposite conference 2 times, and then just cut down on the number of games played within the conference? Thanks – Chris

  85. adityo says:

    i feel…… THIS COULD BE IT. THANK GOD!!!!

  86. Andres Maqueo says:

    Finally……. We have NBA..

    Everybody can start hating the HEAT and LAKERS again hehehehehe.

    Go Knicks.

    • John Stanton says:

      Hi

      I live in SoCalif. and am a BIG Laker hater. I used to be a Knick fan having lived in NYC for many years but now I have switched to the LA Clippers who I hope sweep the Lakers.

      Good to have the NBA back.

  87. Anas Elghaity says:

    It appears though as if the NBA is the lost twin sister of the US congress, they waited till the 11th hour. And much like Congress with their 9% approval ratings, the league is going to suffer a big blow from their fan base. I have watched basketball since I was 8(33 now), I can tell you I am not going to watch a single game this year. I felt as a fan, we deserved better than this. And until the majority of us grows some big ones, we will continue to be disrespected. Heats off to the NFL who ended the nonsense much sooner than the NBA did. Also you may not have even noticed but MLB is wrapping up their CBA right now, they haven’t even enjoyed their vacation yet. I guess baseball has always been a gentleman’s sport. Enjoy your 65 game season guys, for those of you who will hit the arenas,expect modest price hikes on everything, after all they need to make up lost revenue.

    • Gary says:

      Goodbye. It won’t mean a thing if you don’t watch and frankley I’ll be glad to hear less from so called fans b***hing about these guys needing to lose money.

  88. Zane says:

    Sign, date, & tip off.

  89. Alberto says:

    Good bye, Ciao, Adios Euroleague…kids i am sorry but big guys have to play now!

  90. Shallene says:

    …About damn time.

  91. GOOD says:

    NBA WILL START 25TH OF DECEMBER THANK YOU

  92. jack says:

    thank you for realising we all miss the nba,,, including all u guys no matter how rich anyone is… we all love basketball… im so excited yay yay yay

  93. josh says:

    jimmer!!!

  94. Ryan Jamolin says:

    thanks to God that the NBA would finally Start..I was really praying for that..Hope this decision would be final.. I’m excited to see my Heat players..

  95. DP1970 says:

    Players could have accepted this deal a while ago for what they accomplished. They still got a 50/50 deal. What happened to no less than 52%, fellas? By waiting this long they allowed fans and other employees to suffer due to their lack of intelligence. Mighty funny how missing a paycheck changes an attitude. They LOOK stupid for accepting this deal now, but they would BE stupid not to.

    • Jon says:

      it wasent as much about the BRI as it is about the system changes the owners wanted

    • Gary says:

      Yeah like Jon said and also mentioned in post, they were ready to compromise on the 50/50 split, but there were other details about the proposal from the owners that the players felt were really unfair. Anyhow it will be old news soon so let’s just be glad they’ve finally agreed to something.

  96. jed says:

    if you could have done it earlier, you wouldn’t lose a lot of fans. but its too late, you lost a lot of fans and it will be hard to get them back. anyway. still looking forward to the season. and, derek fisher you still suck :)

  97. roland says:

    NBA is back! SAVE THOSE JOBS!

  98. nba fan says:

    thanks god the lockout is over go celtics!!!!!!!!

  99. bball1 says:

    Finally, super teams will be eliminated in the future. No longer will teams like the Lakers and Knicka be able to hoard the leagues best talent after next year. All teams including smaller market ones will soon have a fair shot!

  100. Sp says:

    Stop talking please? The people is awaiting for the games for a long time. Ayt

  101. Magicfan says:

    Can we please have NBA.com back. Analysis of players and teams..

  102. Coney says:

    This is an excellent news…A wonderful christmas present…thank u Lord….I miss NBA games so much….

  103. Kebintot :) says:

    thanks nba. we are very much excited on the tip off. :))

  104. Dave S says:

    I hope this deal hasn’t compromised the competitiveness aspect. This CBA is vital for small-market fans/teams to not only stop making huge losses, but also feel that we actually have a chance of winning something. Ultimately, this CBA will deliver much more than the last one, but depending on how the luxury tax works out and is distributed, small-market teams will just see their superstars run down their contracts and then force their prefered move to a large-market aka Melo/Williams… Howard/Paul next? Griffin etc in a few years time… bye bye competition, hello NFL where the smallest market is currently the champions… how exciting!

    • SG says:

      My favorite part of the article was where it cited Peter Holt as he discussed the inability of small-market teams to be “competitive.” Peter Holt…owner of the San Antonio Spurs, champions in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007, a team that was magically able to afford one of the best coaches and three of the best players in the league over the last decade. Uncompetitive indeed.

      Look, guy, you made the decision to spend your inheritance this way. You shouldn’t be taking it out on us by holding everything up to try to find a way to make owning a basketball team somehow less expensive. It’s a basketball team–it’s not SUPPOSED to be cheap.

  105. hodgsonhommie says:

    Man I’m so excited. I just wanna watch some ball. Heck, I miss watching the late night west coast games. I was starting to think I’d have to resort to hockey this winter… Lol good stuff. Can’t wait to start hating on Miami again.

  106. Hg says:

    This is what I will consider a day of victory for basketball, not a victory either side a victory.

  107. Simon says:

    Thank you, NBA. I hope that the season would be able to start on Christmas Day. If it does, I will be looking forward to the rematch between Heat and Mavericks. Even though I am not a Mavs fan, I am happy for the Mavs because if the season starts on X-mas day, they would have their championship banner and rings on that day.

    I long hoped for a deal to be reached. Once again, thank you NBA.

  108. Joemx5 says:

    Thanks God, this is such a good news!!!

  109. Mika says:

    Thank God ! As a Swede I need some alternative sports to Hockey and I love D Wade

    • steini says:

      finaly i will sone be abel to se my belovd chicago bulls play again. its goona be some long night watching bulls games here in norway

  110. Mike says:

    Good to see that common sense has finally prevailed. Although, I still can’t get the sour taste out of my mouth due to the fact that fans who generate the money for the owners and players have been shafted so hard already. Just hope the deal that has been made is not just a temporary solution that will leave us without basketball again in the next couple of years. Still, looking forward to having the game back, keeping the fingers crossed that the new terms will actually support the smaller markets a little more and make the league competitive.

  111. The Last Archimedean says:

    I hope this gets ratified and the season starts.

    Amazing how as soon as the union got rid of that loudmouth jack@$$ Kessler a deal was struck. H’mm, couldn’t *possibly* have anything to do with the fact that Kessler’s interest was in a giant lawsuit and the union’s interest was in actually playing basketball, could it? Nah, nothing to do with it.

    The best news yet. Hopefully nothing derails this….

  112. krystal says:

    THANK YOU. VERY MUCH.

  113. KeanA35 says:

    FINALLY :D

  114. Damien says:

    How bad ! I wished those greedy players and owners would lose much more and the NBA would eventually sink.
    No matter, I’ll still watch the Euroleague, where players know what team sports are, learn how to play together and don’t try to score all by themselves, using physical abilities alone. In fact, the more I think about it, the more the NBA is all about physical domination while International basketball is about tactics and fundamentals.
    So long, NBA Basketball

    • Gary says:

      Good! Please watch the Euro league, stay away form everything NBA including these blogs. Don’t read or comment. Real fans can do without negative people on here. Thanks in advance.

    • AB says:

      i dont believe u….really i dont, you’ll be watching the NBA along with all the others who said they were done back in 98-99…im just saying.

      • Richo says:

        Your spot on AB. All the haters who are claiming Euroleague as the greatest thing since sliced bread will be licking their lips come XMas Day with a triple header. Welcome back NBA, I have missed you.

  115. TWizz says:

    Wow I figured it would happen. Why did the players wait this long to accept this deal.. They could have done this a week or so ago. Oh well. My team won’t be too good anyways seeing as about 3 of their people are playing in China at the moment.

  116. CJ says:

    Finally,something we all can cheer about but its too late NBA. You’ve lost a lot of fan and its gonna be hard to get them unless the HEAT bring those fans back

  117. Not Another Mistake says:

    And that’s great news! I thought I would have missed NBA this year. Hope it will be ratified. Kudos to NBA!

  118. Wong Zhi Yong says:

    That means we’re gonna watch the game starting 25 December! Finally!!!

  119. Michael says:

    This is the best news I’ve read for the entire 2011 year!!

  120. Alexzo says:

    Such sweet music! Thank God!

  121. jono says:

    ill believe it when its signed

  122. ralph says:

    some may say that they don’t miss the nba.. but i do! thank God! It’s about time!