Tentative Labor Deal Reached: We Are Getting NBA Basketball For Christmas

After all the frustration and anger, lonely nights stuck watching whatever college game we can find, we are getting NBA basketball on Christmas day. David Stern got his wish. Maybe this wasn’t our ultimate wish (it would’ve been better to have it done earlier), but this announcement just gave the holiday a little extra juice. Unless the scheduling is changed, the 2011-12 season will open with the Boston Celtics traveling to play the New York Knicks, followed by a Finals rematch, Miami at Dallas. The nightcap would be MVP Derrick Rose and Chicago against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. How hyped are you?

After 149 days in a lockout, the players and owners came together for one more marathon session on Friday, and after more than 15 hours, they finally took the gloves off and shook hands. While it is still considered a tentative agreement – at least 15 owners need to approve it and a majority of the 430-plus players must do the same – all reports seem to indicate it’s a formality at this point. But first, the owners plan to meet Saturday to move it along, and the players also must drop their lawsuits and reform their union.

The AP reports that NBA Commissioner David Stern said the agreement was “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 Dec. 25.”

Reportedly, the players agreed to a 49-51 split in the BRI (where the players can earn up to 51). And with the agreement coming from Stern’s mouth at around 3:40 a.m. ET last night, there are still a few things to work out with the smaller “system issues.” In the end, the players conceded, and the owners finally made some “significant moves” towards the players as well to reach this tentative agreement. As Chris Sheridan reports, the owners softened their positions on the mid-level exception (the maximum length will be four years), dropped their insistence on the Carmelo Anthony rule (sign-n-trades similar to the Denver/NY trade last season), which is HUGE news for 2012’s mammoth free agent class. The rookie pay scale will also stay the same while qualifying offers to restricted free agents will become “significantly” improved.

The plan is to open trainings camps on Dec. 9 with games starting on Christmas day and continuing into a 66-game schedule.

As we are writing this, Derrick Rose’s new signature adiZero Rose 2 commercial (“The Bull”) came on the television. Nothing ever felt so good.

How will you celebrate the return of the NBA?

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