The NBA lockout is tentatively, unofficially, hopefully over.
After 149 days of contentious talks between the owners and players, a 15 hour post-Thanksgiving negotiation saved the 2011-12 season bringing an early holiday gift to many.
Commissioner David Stern and Player's Association leader Billy Hunter appeared at a joint press conference early this morning and announced that a tentative agreement had been reached, There are some hoops that still need to be jumped through to finalize the process but if all goes according to plan, a 66 game season will kick off on Christmas day.
We're all breathing a sigh of relief now that Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James are no longer among the millions of unemployed.
While neither side would comment on the specifics of the agreement at an early morning press conference, it is believed that the two sides agreed to a 50-50 split of basketball-related income, one of the labor dispute's hot button issues. Apparently, there is still work to be done on the rookie salary cap, drug testing, and other minor issues.
If you've been following the drama, you know the regular season's originally scheduled Nov. 1 kick-off was postponed in October, weeks after the entire preseason was cancelled and about a month after the first few weeks of the preseason were wiped out.
An estimated $600 million - $800 million in revenue has been lost so far. A majority of arena and stadium employees have been without jobs since the lockout began: no games, no work. The deal is great for all those hot dog vendors, parking attendants, bar owners, and small businesses who are no doubt celebrating an early Christmas.
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