After being locked in battle since July 1, it appears an end is in sight for the NBA Lockout as the “New York Times” reported Saturday morning that NBA players and Team Owners have reached a tentative deal to ratify a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement. NBA Commissioner David Stern addressed reporters at about 3:40 am Saturday morning to share the positive news. Stern told members of the media “We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations but we’re optimistic that that will all come to pass and that the N.B.A. season will begin on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, with a triple-header.”
The new deal according to the reports would be for 10 years, although either side will be able to exercise an out clause after year six. NBA players will have their portion of Association revenues reduced to a 50-50 split with Team Owners, after receiving 57% this past season. According to the report it will take about a week to ten days for the two sides to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement. Once the new deal is approved by a majority of players and owners, then Free Agency can begin which will be followed by an abbreviated training camp and exhibition schedule.
With the regular season starting on Christmas Day, the campaign would be 66-games which is 16 games less than a traditional regular season. The original schedule had the Boston Celtics taking on the New York Knicks, a re-match of the past NBA Finals as the Miami Heat head to Dallas to face the Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls playing the Lakers in Los Angeles.