At approximately 3 a.m. early Saturday morning, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sent out the tweet for which we have all been waiting. Berger was first to report the story after the announcement was made of a joint press conference.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said at the press conference that the plan was to play the first games of a shortened 66-game season on December 25th. The originally scheduled triple header of Mavericks-Heat, Lakers-Bulls and Knicks-Celtics will likely remain the Christmas Day lineup.
It is being reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that some veteran players may vote against the proposed agreement, but it will pass regardless. Judging by the reaction of the players on twitter, including this gem by Kevin Durant, I’d say Mr. Wojnarowski is correct.
The deal must still be officially approved by the owners and players, but assuming the vote goes smoothly, the NBA timeline will look something like this:
Saturday, Nov. 26th – Friday, Dec. 9th: The players’ union no longer exists, so the players must reform their union before the vote can take place. Reforming the union should not take long at all because the union disclaimed its interest rather than the alternative (decertification). The players must withdraw their antitrust lawsuits, show proof that a majority of the players support reforming the union, file some paperwork, and BOOM the union is back.