NBA commissioner David Stern emerged from the latest marathon negotiating session about 3 a.m. early Saturday morning to announce what everyone wanted to hear: the NBA is back.
Players and owners agreed to end the 149-day lockout in time to kick off the new season on Christmas day. According to ESPN, both a reformed players union and the NBA owners must ratify the handshake deal.
Training camps and free agency are scheduled to open Dec. 9 and the season will consist of 66 games.
If the league does not adjust the schedule, the Christmas day games will be a triple-header featuring the Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks, and Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers.
The Detroit Pistons first game would be the next day at the Indiana Pacers.
The deal calls for players to earn between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball related income, and the new salary cap structure will be more punitive and will function as more of a hard cap, according to multiple media reports.