The NBA owners will end the lockout, as a 66-game campaign is set to start on Christmas Day after owners and players agreed on a 10-year deal to save the 2011-2012 season.
It will be the second-shortest season in NBA history.
In the end, the owners got almost everything they wanted: a more balanced basketball-revenue sharing deal, (50-50, as opposed to the current 57-43 edge for the players, though it could rise or lower by a percentage point depending on well or poorly the league is doing), eliminate many extend-and-trade deals, and expand the luxury tax to promote a more competitive league landscape. At the end of the day, players should receive $3 billion less under the new deal than they did under the old deal. The owners didn’t get everything they wanted — the salary cap isn’t as hard as they wanted, and salaries won’t be dramatically lowered — but at the end of the day NBA Commissioner David Stern was smiling and player rep Derek Fisher wasn’t, according to The New York Times:
While Stern, [Peter] Holt and Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner, smiled through their fatigue, the playersâ€™ representatives â€” [Billy] Hunter, Derek Fisher and Mo Evans â€” looked grim.
â€œFor myself, itâ€™s great to be a part of this particular moment, in terms of giving our fans what it is that they so badly wanted and want to see,â€ said Fisher, the erstwhile president of the players union.
He did not smile as he said it, appearing more relieved than happy. Evans, another member of what was the unionâ€™s executive board, sat stoically next to Fisher. No one on the playersâ€™ side praised the agreement.
Still to be worked out: the specifics of drug testing and the future role of the D-League.
As noted: the season is expected to begin Christmas Day, with the traditional New York Knicks match at Madison Square Garden. It will be a short training camp for teams, with free agency and the start of camp both scheduled for Dec. 2.
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