The NBA will tip off its season after all.
Basketball owners and players reached a tentative agreement on a new labor agreement Saturday that would end the lockout and have the league up and running by Dec. 25.
“We’ve reached a tentative understanding,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters. “We’re optimistic that it will hold and we’ll have ourselves an NBA season.”
Owners and players must vote to approve the deal to finalize the agreement. Players will have to ratify the deal to make it official.
The deal was signed after negotiators for owners and players talked for 15 hours on Friday. The framework of a deal is in place but there are B-list issues, including drug testing and early entry draft age that both sides still have to agree upon.
“Once we present it (to our players) we’re confident they will support it,” said union executive director Billy Hunter.