For all practical purposes, we will no longer be doing “NBA Lockout Reports.” It is with no regret that we inform you that the players and owners have reached a “tentative” agreement, after a Friday meeting crossed over into the waning hours of early Saturday morning. After a 149-day work impasse which threatened to derail the whole season, NBA Commissioner David Stern said gave the news fans had been waiting for by saying “We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals … we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin on December 25 — Christmas Day — a tripleheader.”
All of the kinks still would have to be worked out and a majority on each side would have to approve the agreement. The NBA needs votes from 15 of 29 owners but that meeting should take place later today and Stern has stated he expects it to be fully endorsed. The players side would need a majority of its 430-plus but things could be a little murky since their union disbanded on November 14th. Their antitrust lawsuit would have to be dropped and the union reformed before a vote could take place.
If all the cards fall into place, training camp could open as early as December 9th and Christmas Day could see three marquee games: Miami at Dallas in a rematch of last year’s finals, Derrick Rose and Chicago taking on the Lakers and the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks. As it stands, the season would still cover a 66-game regular season.