The Lockout Is Over!
Basketball fans everywhere rejoice: The lockout is over. We think. We hope. Please, God, let it be so.
There aren't many details, but it appears that the NBA's owners and players have reached a handshake agreement to end the owner-imposed lockout after 149 days of haggling over how to split up billions of dollars. It took a 16-hour negotiation session that stretched into the wee hours of Saturday morning, but it looks like the deal is done. There are still some details that must be worked out, like the dismissal of lawsuits, union recertification and owner and player ratification of the deal, but we just may wake up to meaningful NBA games under our Christmas trees.
There are more questions than answers at this point, but early reports are that training camps would open on December 9, free agency will begin on December 10 and Opening Day December 25. At some point, we'll all start trying to figure out if the wait will have been worth it. There will be rule changes, players who haven't been able to work in their usual structured environments, a shortened schedule, probable fan backlash and apathy, and most likely a substandard on-court product. But right now, at 3:20 AM CST, none of that matters to me. All I care about is that the NBA will be back soon.