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NBA season from December 25

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NBA season from December 25

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NEW YORK – NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season on Christmas Day.
Neither side provided many specifics but said the only words players and fans wanted to hear.
“We want to play basketball,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.
After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more than 15 hours on Friday, working to try to save the season. This handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by both owners and players.
Stern said it was “subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin December 25”.
Barring a change in scheduling, the 2011-2012 season will open with the Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, followed by Miami at Dallas in an NBA finals rematch before MVP Derrick Rose and Chicago close the triple header against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
The league plans a 66-game season and aims to open training camps December 9.
Stern has said it would take about 30 days from an agreement to playing the first game.
“All I feel right now is ‘finally’,” Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press.
Just 12 days after talks broke down and Stern declared the NBA could be headed to a “nuclear winter”, he sat next to union executive director Billy Hunter to announce the deal.
“We thought it was in both of our interests to try to reach a resolution and save the game and to be able to provide the mind of superb entertainment the NBA historically has provided,” Hunter said.
A majority on each side is needed to approve the agreement. The NBA needs votes from 15 of 29 owners. (The league owns the New Orleans Hornets.)
The union needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members. That process is a bit more complicated after the players dissolved the union November 14. Now, they must drop their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota and reform the union before voting on the deal. (AP)