A little after 3 a.m. this morning, representatives for NBA players and owners came to a "handshake agreement" to end the 149-day lockout and play a 66-game season, beginning with three already-scheduled games on Christmas Day. Call it a Christmas Miracle, or whatever happens when people realize that sticking to their principles costs billions of dollars.
"We're really excited. We're excited for the fans. We're excited to start playing basketball," Peter Holt, the owner of the San Antonio Spurs and the head of the league's labor-relations committee tells the Times. Maybe that's because "on nearly every count, the deal favors the owners." The players ended up conceding up to $300 million a year in salaries, or $3 billion over the span of the agreement. According to the paper, all the players representatives "looked grim" when announcing the agreement.
Many of the details still have to be ironed out on the 10-year deal, and the agreement itself must be approved by a majority of players and owners. But if passed, training camp would begin on December 9, and the season would kick off with a triple-header on the 25th with Boston at New York, Miami at Dallas, and Chicago at Los Angeles.
"All I feel right now, is 'finally,' " Dwayne Wade tells the AP. But shockingly, the fans feel betrayed. "It's all about greed on all sides, really. It's a pity for the fans," one fan tells CBS. Another says, "I’m suffering. The fans are suffering and it’s not fair. They say it’s all about the fans, but yet it’s almost Christmas and I haven’t seen a game.”
But maybe the fans are the winners after all: with 66 instead of 82 games, the ones you'll see might actually matter.