The NBA has reached a deal with its players, ending the second-longest lockout in league history, the New York Times is reporting. The new 66-game season will begin on Christmas Day 2011.
The deal is expected to last 10 years, the longest in NBA history, with an option for either side to terminate after six years. The deal will include a significant pay cut for the players, with shorter contracts, smaller raises and a more punitive tax system for the top-spending teams. The deal was reached on the 149th day of the lockout, after a 15-hour bargaining meeting at the Manhattan law offices of Weil, Gotshal and Manges.
Training camps and free agency are expected to open on December 9. The first three games to be played will be between the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks, followed by the Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers. The rest of the season’s schedule is being worked on, and will be released in the coming days.
As a result of the lockout, the 2010-11 season will be shortened by 16 games. It will be the second shortest in history, after the 50-game season in 1999, which was also affected by a long lockout. The current season is expected to last until late April 2012.
Written by: Karen Benardello