Skip to content

NBA owners, players reach tentative deal, games to begin Dec. 25

Nov 26, 2011, 3:34 AM EDT

Billy Hunter David Stern AP

Finally, we are going to have NBA basketball again.

After more than 15 hours of negotiations Friday into Saturday morning (following a week of secretive talks), the NBA owners and players have reached a handshake deal on a new collective bargaining agreement the sides announced. (Ken Berger at broke the story.)

“We’ve reached a tentative understanding,” said NBA commissioner David Stern at a hastily put together 3:30 a.m. press conference. “(The deal) is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations. We’re optimistic that will all come to pass and the NBA season will begin Dec. 25.”

That will be a Christmas Day start with a triple-header followed by a 66-game season, providing both the owners and players ratify this deal.

There are a lot of details still to be worked out — first up are all the “B” list issues such as draft age and drug testing, things the sides do not all agree on but are not serious enough to block a deal. Then the players’ union has to be reformed (remember they dissolved to allow for antitrust lawsuits to be filed) and finally the owners and players will have to vote on a final version of the agreement.

All of that is going to take 10 days to two weeks. The lockout will not officially be over until then.

Training camps and a free agency period will begin simultaneously on Dec. 9, Stern said.

At that press conference neither Stern nor NBPA director Billy Hunter were willing to talk about a lot of details of the agreement because neither had spoken to their entire constituency yet. However, this deal is likely close to the last offer from the owners and Stern to the players. There may have been a little movement, but not a lot from the offer the players rejected less than two weeks ago.

The players got a little more than 50 percent of league revenue (BRI) but not 51 percent, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN. It is apparently going to be a band in the 49-51 percent range, but will essentially fall as 50/50. In the previous labor deal the players got 57 percent of the league revenue and that was ultimately the big issue in these talks — the owners say they were losing money and wanted a bigger cut of the more than $4 billion in annual revenue the NBA generates. With this they should about cover the $300 million the owners claim to have lost last year.

Talks Saturday took a turn towards blowing up again when players attorney Jeffrey Kessler — the real pit bull for the union — was on a conference call with the talks and said the players demanded 51 percent of the revenues. There was a feeling that might blow the whole talks up, but cooler heads prevailed.

One thing the deal will do is prevent larger-market, big-spending teams from competing in the free agent market as they had in the past, said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. Again there were no details but with a stronger luxury tax and other punitive measures it will be hard for teams to spend up to and around $90 million a season. The deal also raises the salary floor — those small market teams need to spend up to 85 percent of the cap the first two years and 90 percent after that.

This would be a 10-year deal where both sides can opt out at year six.

Neither side loves this deal, which is how a good compromise should end. There are owners and players that will vote against it, but it is expected a majority of both will pass it.

In the end, Spurs owner Peter Holt summed it up best:

“We want to play basketball. Let’s go play basketball.”


  1. lltony - Nov 26, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    @6thsense79……………well said , that’s insight that most of the cats on this post don’t have!!!!!!

  2. voiceofrealism - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Great. They’ll be playing fake basketball with only the nonames following rules in no time.
    How great this sport would be if it didn’t work like wrestling.

  3. basketballfan4life - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    @6thsense79 Excellent

    Let’s Go Heat, Mavs, Bobcats, Raptures, Lakers, Celtics, Cavs, Knicks, Spurs, Rockets, Wizards, Magic, Clippers, Kings, Suns, Jazz, Grizzlies, Nets, Trailblazers, Thunder, 76ers, Hawks, Nuggets, Bulls, Pistons, Pacers, Hornets, Warriors, Bucks and Timberwolves

  4. behaviorquest - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Darn, I was hoping they would just cancel the NBA for eternity. Now back to over paid entitled inner city thugs with no respect for anything, not even themselves. Oh, and great role models for out kids.

    • progress2011 - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Ummmmm….if you rely on others to be ” role-models ” for your kids because you are too stupid to be a role model yourself, then give your kids up for adoption.

      My belief is, because you can have kids, doesn’t mean you should !!!

      Maybe if your kids are of a working age ( and your ignorance hasn’t rubbed off on them too much ) they can possibly get one of the jobs at an NBA arena.

      Whether you like ” inner city thugs ” or not, the fact of the matter remains that the NBA season is a good thing because unemployed Americans are struggling and the NBA season will provide thousands of jobs.

      • imaduffer - Nov 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        You forgot to insert the word “minimum wage” in front of the word jobs.

      • progress2011 - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        Is minimum wage better than welfare, food stamps, begging or stealing !!!

        For those of us that are hard – working class Americans, we believe that even a minimum wage job will help a family in need, while providing some sense of pride because the income is being ” EARNED ” !!!

        All while helping reduce unemployment and helping to stir our economy and maybe corporations will hire more and banks will lend more.

        I know that’s the big picture. Hopefully if you open your eyes, you can see past the ” Hatred ” !

  5. maxakabirdpilot - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    If you lined up every NBA arena in a row with free tix, and a decent Div. II crackerbox at the end, I’d walk past the entire row to go the college game. NBA might have the best players, but they don’t have a clue
    about team and well-coached play.

    I wanna see the GAME, not a bunch of pampered stars!

  6. stadix093 - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    This makes it official. Hockey is still the only sport stupid enough to totally self destruct. Another win for ghetto trash like me! C’mon racist people thumbs me down for loving me some NBA, your tears make me happy. LAKERS!!!!!

  7. cookie2117 - Nov 26, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Los bulls!!!!!!!!!

  8. sloughhousesue - Nov 26, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    I’m just glad the employees who work in the arena finally have a job to go back to. These are the people who need the jobs the most.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2387)
  2. K. Irving (2106)
  3. A. Davis (1839)
  4. K. Bryant (1475)
  5. L. James (1463)
  1. A. Aminu (1376)
  2. M. Leonard (1339)
  3. K. Durant (1338)
  4. T. Thompson (1245)
  5. E. Mudiay (1175)