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...
yeah i don't get the hate for bayless either. i remember a few years ago i didn't like him but now he's a favorite. i don't always agree with him. but he says verifiable things no one else says at the risk of being WAY wrong. also he doesn't fellate mike vick and cam newton, which is incredibly refreshing .
I never understand the hatred for Skip Bayless. I really enjoy watching First Take and listening to him debate. Usually, I think he has pretty good stuff to say, except when he is hating on A-Rodg of course. When he gets really passionate and starts yelling I find it really funny. Yesterday's show was definitely one of my favorites. Watching Stephen A and Skip debate Favre was classic. Also, Skip has GREAT nicknames.
Still surprised neither one of these guys advanced further in awful announcing contest than Craig James. I have to believe if the voting was done again with a bit more distance that Cowherd or Bayless or Berman would have grabbed the prize.
@PackerFan , it'd be more fun to listen to if he wasn't so full of shit. If you actually listen to what he's saying you'll realize he has no idea what he's talking about. Stephen A. has been right about some things, like Kwame for Gasol being a good deal for the Lakers. But everybody knew that because even then Gasol was a solid 20-10 guy and Kwame has been awful since the day he stepped onto the court in DC.
Actually, it probably would've been Joe Buck as a push to give him a hypothetical "lifetime achievement award" for awful announcing. But the others you mentioned are definitely Final Four material.
@hamlinfan93 Thanks for your response. I actually disagree. I listen to Skip quite a bit and follow him on Twitter. Sure, he is wrong on some things - he makes predictions and that's what happens. But as a whole, I think he is pretty smart. If anything, he makes a bigger deal out of things than is really necessary, but that's television. Everyone hates on him for his criticism of Lebron, but in the end, at least this year, he was 100% right. (He has said Lebron lacks a "clutch gene" for the past two-three years.)
@hamlinfan93 Unlike Colin Cowherd, Skip is an actual fan. He loves the NFL and the NBA and he is pretty knowledgeable about each of them. I think he is overly dramatic a lot, but again, that's television. I love listening to his opinion; even when I think its ridiculous (which is frequently when he talks about my Packers) I still find him entertaining.
As for that miraculous shot in Cleveland, I think that's more of a blip than a trend. I'd call that a lucky, not clutch shot just because of his overall history.
@PackerFan , I will give Skip that he's right about that now. It's obvious from this year's playoffs that if LeBron ever had a clutch gene (he did hit a winning shot against Orlando in the conference finals while with the Cavs), he lost it over the past two years. Seeing these photos though, I might just start watching, albeit muted.