In the middle of the night last night, after a marathon negotiating session, the NBA and its players came to an agreement to end the 149 day lockout. The agreement is tentative, but all signs point to the deal being finalized and professional basketball returning on Christmas Day. Training camp will open in early December and there will be a 66 game season. Here's more details from Howard Beck of the New York Times:
As a frantic Black Friday gave way to a sleepy Saturday morning in Midtown Manhattan, the biggest deal of all was consummated in a law office tucked between F. A. O. Schwarz and the Apple Store.
With handshakes, sighs and weary smiles, the N.B.A. and its players resolved a crippling labor dispute, allowing them to reopen their $4 billion-a-year business in time for the holidays. A 66-game season will start on Christmas Day, ending the second-longest lockout in league history.
The deal was reached at about 3 a.m. Saturday, on the 149th day of the lockout, after a final 15-hour bargaining session at the law offices of Weil, Gotshal and Manges.
All hope appeared to be lost when talks broke off recently and the players rejected the "final offer" of the owners. However, in spite of the pending legal entanglement, the two sides apparently continued to work together towards an agreement. However it came into being, the season appears to have been rescued at the 11th hour. Let's celebrate with the help of our friend Kevin Harlan...