The NBA has been out of business sinceJuly 1 in other words, 149 days but it looks like it will be coming to anarena near you soon. The owners and players reached a deal early Saturdaymorning, meaning there will be regular-season games on Dec. 25.
"We're very pleased we've come this far," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "There's still a lot of work to be done."
The league will play a 66-game schedule,with the Warriors season-opener likely to come on Dec. 26 after threenationally televised Christmas day games.Training camps and free agency areslated to begin on Dec. 9.RATTO: More shame than celebration
The Warriors organization released astatement Saturday afternoon:
The tentative agreement is great news for ourfans, players and our organization. We are very hopeful the NBA will be back onthe court on Christmas Day.
Nothing is formal, but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to have the following provisions:- A full mid-level exception for up to four years, starting at 5 million that can be used by non-tax paying teams above the salary cap.
- A "mini" mid-level for tax-paying teams that's worth 2.5 million per season.
- A basketball-related income range of 49-51 percent, with the players getting closer to 51 percent.
- A 10 percent escrow tax withheld from players salary.RELATED: The latest NBA labor news"We thought it was in both of our interest to try to reach a resolution and save the game," union executive director Billy Hunter said.
NBA owners, general managers and coaches had been forbidden from talking about the lockout or players since July 1.The Warriors, in observance of that, sent an e-mail to reporters early Saturday that contained the following:As an FYI. We are still under lockout rules and cannot comment on anything until the NBA gives us the green light. (We) have no idea if that will be one day or four days, but we will keep you posted.RELATED: CSNNewEngland.com -- NBA lockout Q&A