When most people were completely writing off the 2011-12 NBA season, another seemingly meaningless meeting was taking place between the NBA and the players. Early Saturday morning, reports surfaced that claim the two sides have reached an agreement that will save the season, effectively saving thousands of jobs stretching from Portland to Miami. Later in the morning, NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed his optimism.
At around midnight pacific time (3am in New York, where the meeting took place,) the two sides had a handshake agreement that will allow players back into the league training facilities and, eventually, onto the empty NBA stadiums across the country. The meeting lasted over 15 hours before the agreement was reached and Twitter began flooding with joyful messages.
“We thought it was in both of our best interests to try to reach a resolution and save the game,” union executive director Billy Hunter said.
Stern reportedly said that both free agency and training camps will start on the ninth of December.
“We’ve reached a tentative understanding 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 Dec. 25,” Stern said.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the agreement is on the main framework of the deal, and the sides will take the next two weeks or so to come to firm agreements on what’s being called “B-issues,” issues surrounding drug testing, the D-League, and other details that were not central to the main arguments.
The new tentative agreement on the collective bargaining agreement will still need to be formalized. Then, the NBA owners will have to ratify it and the National Basketball Players Association will have to be formed again – the NBPA decertified during the lockout – and its members will have to approve the deal.
If all of that happens in a somewhat short amount of time, the NBA will hold a 66-game season starting on Christmas Day, with the playoffs and the NBA Finals starting one week later than usual.
As of right now, it appears, basketball is back in Portland, as is a huge focus on Greg Oden’s knees.
Have any thoughts of your own? You’re encouraged to comment at the bottom of the article!
© 2011 Max Price – All Rights Reserved.
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