The NBA will start on Christmas day this year, and should be shortened to a 66 game season. The players will have the ability to make between 49-51% of the BRI depending on—well—I don’t know. A 15 hour negotiation that stretched into the wee hours of Saturday led to a tentative deal. After the negotiations ended, both Stern and Hunter commented.
“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.
The NBA lockout had an open court in front of it to squander the entirety of the 2011-2012 season, just like Reggie Miller had an open court for a clinching lay-up in the 2004 NBA playoffs against the Detroit Pistons. But, Tayshaun Prince, the last minute negotiating, came from behind and swiped the ball just before it hit the backboard, before New Years threatened the loss of an entire season.
I know it’s a forced analogy—but the “tentative” conclusion of the lockout caught me off guard. I had given up hope.
There will be a 2011-2012 season starting on Christmas Day 2011. 66 games and further delight for basketball fans. We can all weep with joy at never having to use the #lockout tag again (until the next CBA round of negotiations).
Christmas came early, and our biggest present will be NBA opening day in 2011.