By: Drew Marshall
The NBA lockout has finally been resolved, as owners and players recently agreed to a new deal that will salvage the 2011-2012 season. The season will begin on Christmas Day and will contain 66 regular season games. Though the deal is in place and both the owners and players have agreed to it, some outside forces could pry the two sides apart before anything is finished.
The 149-day stoppage in play seemed like it was going to stop the season prior to the past weekend’s negotiations. However, union executives and NBA commissioner David Stern announced, after a 15 hour debate session, that a tentative collective bargaining agreement had been met. “Despite some bumps this evening, the greater good required us to knock ourselves out and come to this tentative understanding.” The deal was announced by Stern, along with Derek Fisher and Maurice Evans, who represented the player’s union.
The deal currently solved the problems of the labor disputes. However, many critics of the plan think that it may not last. Specifically receiving criticism is outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, who some claim nearly killed this deal by advocating that the players should receive 51% of all basketball-related income. There are also issues concerning drug testing and the rookie salary scale. While the details of the deal will not be known for at least a few days, it is clear that the NBA received almost all of their requests in the agreement while the players seemed more compromising.
Though the deal is not perfect, it is still unlikely that it will unfold. Many people think that the season could benefit the NBA. The key now is to attempt to focus the events back to basketball. As in all disagreements that are taken to court, lawyers and judges have no leg in either side, and therefore there was no rush to get back to the season simply because the fans or players want to. The fans will get what they want on December 9, when a free-agency period begins that is sure to bring some excitement while the players finally return to play on Christmas Day.
The deal could end up helping the NBA in the short season. The December 25 start will give fans a better sense of urgency, as each game will matter more than any previous year. In a normal season, teams start preparing for playoffs around Christmas time. This season, teams will have to play well from the start if they want to be in a good position for the postseason. The coming NBA season is sure to be very exciting, as all teams will be in a rush to prepare. Each game matters now, and the NBA hopes that the collective bargaining agreement will hold long enough to please everyone involved.