All of NBA nation can now take a deep breath and exhale, as NBA players and owners have reached a tentative agreement to end a lock-out that lasted five months. With the idea of a 66 game season, the NBA season is slated to start on Christmas Day. The season will run from December 25, 2011 to April 26, 2012. In this abbreviated season, 48 will consist of conference games. So it’s a good chance that your favorite basketball player may not come to a city near you!

In the new labor deal,  players will get 51 percent of the revenue sharing, down from the 57 percent that they were receiving. Elite players will get a boost in salary in their second contract, which will start in their fifth year. There are specific guidelines a player must meet to obtain this salary boost. During the first four seasons of a player’s career, the player must be voted as an All-Star starter at least twice, be league MVP and be named to any All-NBA team during those four seasons. Players who are eligible will earn up to 30 percent of the salary cap, up five percent from the previous agreement. Call it the “Derrick Rose Rule”!

A harder cap will most likely take place in the new deal. This will hurt teams like the Los Angeles Lakers who always exceeds the luxury tax threshold. Last season, the Lakers paid 21 million dollars in penalties for going over the salary cap.

In order for the games to officially begin, both the players and owners will have to iron out a few wrinkles. The NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) will have to reform into a union again. The owners will have to approve the union. Negotiations of any other CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) issues and a vote on the new CBA deal will then take place. The two parties are confident that a settlement will be reached. Upon reaching an agreement, there will be a mad dash in free agency and player signings. With practice facilities opening for players on December 1, 2011 and accelerated training camps soon to follow, teams will have to prepare themselves for a roller coaster ride.

When it’s all said and done, the NBA season would have lost two months of games. With the NFL and college football to keep us company, one could say that an NBA season starting on Christmas Day is perfect timing. Who needs an 82 game season when the first two months appears to be  meaningless in the first place?

As far as the new CBA is concern, we’ll see if the owners will own up to the rules that they implemented. Theses owners have a long history of breaking the rules by over spending, crying broke and then blaming the players for their mishaps.

At the end of the day, we’re just happy to see the NBA back!

By Keith Madyun


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