Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congratulations to the NBA's owners and players

You stared into the abyss of a lost season, a destroyed union, fractured public relations and selfishness, and you opted to do the right thing.

The New York Times takes a look at the preliminary agreement that ends the lockout.
With handshakes, sighs and weary smiles, the N.B.A. and its players resolved a crippling labor dispute, allowing them to reopen their $4 billion-a-year business in time for the holidays. A 66-game season will start on Christmas Day, ending the second-longest lockout in league history.
The deal was reached at about 3 a.m. Saturday, on the 149th day of the lockout, after a final 15-hour bargaining session at the law offices of Weil, Gotshal and Manges.
“We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations,” the league’s commissioner, David Stern, said at 3:40 a.m., “but we’re optimistic that that will all come to pass, and that the N.B.A. season will begin on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, with a tripleheader.”
Training camps and free agency will open, simultaneously, on Dec. 9, giving teams two weeks to prepare.
The three Christmas games are likely to be the ones that were already on the schedule: Boston at the Knicks, followed by Miami at Dallas and Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers. The rest of the schedule will be reconstructed and released in the coming days.
ESPN notes that while the players didn't get the crux of what they wanted, there is still enough in the deal to keep them happy.

But in the end, the people who ought to be smiling the widest about this deal are the people who are going to benefit most -- the men and women who staff the arenas on game night. They are the ones who need the money they get from selling tickets and souvenirs; and serving as ushers more than anyone else.

The billionaires and millionaires might want to remember them as they wrap up this new collective bargaining agreement. Somehow, I doubt they will.

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