Saturday, September 26, 2020

OWNERS, PLAYERS AGREE TO END LOCKOUT

November 26, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

At 3:00 a.m. today (Saturday) Ken Berger of CBSSports.com got the scoop — “BREAKING: Tentative agreement reached, according to one of the negotiators,” he reported on Twitter. In subsequent posts, he reported that after a 15-hour negotiating session, the NBA players and owners had reached a tentative agreement to end the 149-day-long lockout and to start the season on Christmas Day. “The excruciating, rambunctious NBA lockout ends with tentative deal,” he wrote a short time later. Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but NBA Commissioner David Stern and union Executive Director Billy Hunter soon held a news conference to confirm that a deal had been reached. Both the owners and players must still vote to approve it, and reports indicated that their approval is by no means a slam dunk. Both sides are aiming to restart the season on Christmas Day — a day that produced near record ratings last year, when 13.1 million viewers watched the Miami Heat’s 96-80 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on ABC, representing the third-highest-rated game during a regular-season in NBA history. Basketball-starved fans are likely to push this year’s Christmas ratings over the top if the deal is approved. Plans now call for the season to open with a tripleheader on December 25, beginning with the Boston Celtics vs. the New York Knicks, followed by the Miami Heat vs. the Dallas Mavericks, and closing with the Chicago Bulls vs. the L.A. Lakers. Last year, Lakers coach Phil Jackson ignited controversy when he remarked about playing on Christmas, “It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean anything to them anymore. … We just go out and play and entertain the TV. It’s really weird.”