|NBA Commissioner David Stern and players make a deal|
(photo by Getty Images)
The National Basketball Association and its players have reached a tentative agreement to end the 149-day NBA lockout and will resume play in late December, according to multiple media reports from an announcement made at a hastily called press gathering with a group of media staked-out near the law offices of Weil, Gotshal Manges in Manhattan. The league could begin with games to be scheduled on December 25, Christmas Day, a day when many basketball fans enjoy their celebration with an evening ball game.
DigitalSportsDesk.com will update as details of the agreement emerge.
The arrangement was announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern and Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher, former heads of the NBA players union. The NBA did not issue an official press release or details of the proposed lockout-ending deal.
The reports of labor peace came after a marathon 16+ hour meeting between small groups representing the NBA team owners and the former heads and legal counsel of the disbanded player's union. CBS Sports dot com first reported the deal was in place.
"This was not an easy agreement for anyone. The owners came in having suffered substantial losses and feeling the system wasn't working fairly across all teams," said Adam Silver, the NBA deputy commissioner and chief negotiator under Stern.. "I certainly know the players had strong views about expectations in terms of what they should be getting from the system. It required a lot of compromise from both parties' part, and I think that's what we saw today."
Details of the lockout were scarce as league and union officials made the harried announcement in a small conference room at the GM building near New York's Central Park. Media reports cited a 50-50 revenue split between the parties but deeper calculations and estimates had the NBA players receiving between 49 and 51 percent of basketball related income, depending on the financial success of the league. Players had previously received up to 57-percent of the revenue as the collective bargaining agreement's delivery system, complete with several loop-holes and costly exceptions, careened out of financial control of the league.
The details of the new deal and the resolution of many "so-called" B-list issues will be center stage on the negotiating table between Nov. 26 and December 8, the day before the league simultaneously opens training camps and free agency. In addition, the two-week start-up time will allow players who are currently working overseas to opt-out of their deals and return to the US and Toronto, Canada for informal workouts and to re-assemble with their clubs. The semi-announced and tentative agreement did not include details of whether NBA players could enter team training and practice facilities as of today. Details will emerge as players and agents awake to the news.