Celtics

NBA, players reach tentative deal

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NBA, players reach tentative deal

Christmas has come a few weeks early for NBA fans after the NBA and the players reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

CBSsports.com was the first to report a tentative agreement had been reached.

After more than 15 hours of negotiating, which began Friday afternoon and didn't end until the wee hours of Saturday morning, NBA commissioner David Stern and Billy Hunter, who was executive director of the NBA Players Association before it dissolved into a trade association, emerged with the news that, pending a few dotted i's and t's crossed, the 2011-12 season would likely begin on Christmas Day.

Stern said training camp and free agency would both begin on Dec. 9.

While it's unclear how long this season will be, expect the league to trot out a 66-game schedule, beginning with the league's already scheduled Christmas Day games.

Among those will be the Boston Celtics playing at the New York Knicks.

Other Christmas Day games already scheduled include an NBA Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. The third game will feature the Chicago Bulls and reigning league MVP Derrick Rose at the Los Angeles Lakers.

One of the biggest issues throughout negotiations has been how to split the basketball-related income. In the last CBA, players received a 57 percent cut.

In the new CBA, a league source said Saturday morning that the players are looking at a 49-51 percent share, with the numbers working out now to peak closer to 51 percent than the previous 49-51 split the owners proposed earlier.

The lawsuits filed by the NBA and the players must also be ironed prior to a new CBA becoming official.

Talks broke off on Nov. 14, with the NBAPA filing a "disclaimer of interest" that dissolved the union and opened the floodgates for potential anti-trust lawsuits on behalf of the players.

There were two filed in Northern California and Minnesota, respectively.

However, the lawsuit in California was withdrawn.

Both sides agreed to resume talks this week, which culminated with Saturday morning's tentative agreement.

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”