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NBA reaches tentative agreement with its players

Teams will sign players starting Dec. 9, with opening day on Dec. 25

While the rest of the country was out shopping for Black Friday, or lounging on the couch in a post-turkey coma, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its players were stuck in a negotiating session, trying to resolve the NBA’s long-running labor dispute. After 15 hours, they were finally able to reach a tentative agreement that, if all goes as planned, will have teams signing players as soon as Dec. 9, with opening day on Dec. 25, a nice Christmas present for basketball fans wondering if they’d see a game at all this season.

This agreement comes after months of back-and-forth between the two parties. It began with a lockout on July 1, and talks screeched to a halt when neither side was willing to compromise on salary caps or the division of revenues. After the NBA issued an ultimatum, players dissolved their union, the National Basketball Players Association, and filed an antitrust lawsuit instead.

Commissioner David Stern told ESPN on Friday that the litigation was not the main motivation behind reaching a settlement. “The reason for the settlement was we've got fans, we've got players who would like to play and we've got others who are dependent on us,” he said.

Assuming all goes well (there are a whole host of other issues yet to be resolved, including age limits and drug testing), after the two sides brief their constituents, they will ratify the agreement, get the lawsuit dismissed and reconstruct the players union in time for the remainder of the season.

Read more on ESPN.

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