UPDATE NBA LOCKOUT: “Let’s Play Ball” [Tentative Deal Reached]

Say It Ain’t So!!! It has been 149 days since the players & 0wners have been in disagreement over their Collective Bargaining Agreement. As of early this morning, the players & owners have come to a TENTATIVE AGREEMENT that MAY END the NBA LOCKOUT. Now I am hoping that it does end the LOCKOUT. It is tentative but it is looking like it is a very strong possibility that the needed approvals will pass & the season will commence on December 25, 2011. GO LAKERS!!! <<< no HEATERS now LOL

LA Times reports It took 149 days and countless hours of hand-wringing, but the NBA lockout finally appears to be over. Representatives for owners and players pushed back from the negotiating table after agreeing on the framework of a deal early Saturday morning in New York, creating the foundation for a 66th NBA season.

Prospects of an agreement were rocky as recently as last week when the players dissolved their union, but the 2011-12 season was scheduled to start Christmas Day, NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals … but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin on Dec. 25,” Stern said at a news conference at about 3:30 a.m. ET Saturday.

There were plans for a 66-game regular season that would last until the final week of April, about a week longer than usual. The NBA Finals could potentially end in late June. A majority of the NBA’s 450 players will have to agree on the new collective-bargaining agreement in a vote, as will a majority of the league’s 29 owners. A 30th team, New Orleans, is owned by the NBA and will vote in favor of ratification. “We’re confident that once we present it [to players], that they will support it,” Billy Hunter, executive director of the disbanded players’ union, said after emerging from the 15-hour negotiating session.

Players and owners are expected to take at least another week to agree on smaller issues such as draft eligibility age and disciplinary items that include drug testing. The NBA had canceled games through Dec. 15, but the Lakers were still scheduled to play the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 25 at Staples Center. Training camp will open Dec. 9, the same day free agency begins, Stern said.

“We’re on an incredibly tight schedule as you might imagine between now and opening on Christmas,” said Adam Silver, deputy commissioner of the NBA. This week showed a surprising turnaround from last week, which started with the players’ union disbanding and ended with players filing antitrust lawsuits against the NBA, claiming the league was unfairly hindering their earning potential. Players are expected to quickly retract their litigation and then reassemble as a union for the ratifying vote. They certainly seemed excited on Twitter.

“LOCKOUT OVER …. About time,” Clippers guard Eric Gordon said. Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant said he felt like waking up some of his relatives, putting on a Thunder hat and crying. Indiana forward Danny Granger was more reserved: “I’m pretty sure the [players’] vote will happen either [Saturday] or Sunday … let’s all pray this turns out well.”

Until this weekend, players and owners couldn’t close the gap in key areas such as luxury taxes for free-spending teams and salaries for mid-level free agents. For the big-ticket item of basketball revenue, the sides reportedly agreed on a sliding scale in which players would annually receive 49% to 51% of revenue. They received 57% last season.

There is bad news for teams that like to spend: They will be hit with more severe luxury taxes in the proposed collective-bargaining agreement. “I think it will largely prevent the high-spending teams from competing in the free-agency market in the way they’ve been able to in the past,” Silver said. “The luxury tax is harsher than it was in the past deal and we hope it’s effective.”

Silver did not specify the exact new workings of the luxury tax. The Lakers had the league’s highest payroll last season, doling out $91 million in player salaries and another $21 million in luxury-tax penalties. Stern looked like he finally ended one of his darkest off-seasons as commissioner. “We want to play basketball,” he said.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan Bresnahan reported from Los Angeles.

Matt Barnes & Gloria Govan Have SPLIT

Say It Ain’t So!!! I don’t even know whey they got back together to begin with…I get that you LOVE a person but when you have BAD BLOOD between each other chances are shit will NOT get better…what has been done has been done, a WOMAN may say that she FORGIVES you but she is LYING…she will never forget that SHIT & it will be in the back of her mind every time…why live like that, when you can just be SINGLE to do as you please!!! Being single has it’s perks like MAINTAINING YOUR SANITY!!! Regardless of KIDS or not, if the TRUST has been broken then the LOVE you once had has been tainted…why project that to your KIDS?!?!?

TMZ reports — The NBA offseason from hell just got worse for Los Angeles Lakers player Matt Barnes … who just announced that he’s officially broken up with his “Basketball Wives” baby mama Gloria Govan.

Barnes — who has 2 children with Govan — just released a statement saying, “We have reached the difficult decision of ending our relationship and will be going our separate ways at this time.”

He adds, “We will work together to raise our sons and wish each other only the best.”

Barnes and Govan have had some issues in the past — including the time Matt was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence back in 2010 … but prosecutors didn’t press charges due to a lack of evidence.

NBA Lock Out

This is going to be very interesting to see how this all pans out…for the sake of all FANS I hope they can come to some sort of agreement….this hasn’t happened since the 98-99 season, reducing the season to 50 games.

NEW YORK — Union chief Billy Hunter said Thursday “it’s obvious the lockout will happen tonight” after players and owners failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, potentially putting the 2011-12 season in jeopardy.

Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday and a final proposal from the players — which NBA leaders said would have raised average player salaries to $7 million in the sixth year of the deal — the sides could not close the enormous gulf that remained in their positions.

“The gap is too great,” Hunter said.

The CBA expires at midnight, after which all league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday.

Commissioner David Stern said “with some sadness” he would recommend later Thursday to the labor relations committee that the first lockout since the 1998-99 season be imposed.

“Needless to say we’re disappointed that this is where we find ourselves,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said.

Hunter said the union made a “moderate” new financial proposal, but it wasn’t enough to keep the two sides at the bargaining table.

Hunter said the two sides plan to meet again in the next two to three weeks.

The last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to just a 50-game schedule, the only time the NBA missed games for a work stoppage. Hunter said it’s too early to be concerned about that.

“I hope it doesn’t come down to that,” he said. “Obviously, the clock is now running with regard to whether or not there will be a loss of games, and so I’m hoping that over the next month or so that there will be sort of a softening on their side and maybe we have to soften our position as well.”

The NBA’s summer league in Las Vegas already has been canceled, preseason games in Europe were never scheduled, and players might have to decide if they want to risk playing in this summer’s Olympic qualifying tournaments without the NBA’s help in securing insurance in case of injury.

Training camps usually open the last week of September and the regular season about a month later.

“These kinds of things take on a life of their own, and I just don’t know where their life is going to lead,” Stern said.

The players’ association seems unlikely, at least for now, to follow the NFLPA’s model by decertifying and taking the battle into the court system, instead choosing to continue negotiations. Hunter said last week he felt owners believe the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, which is debating the legality of the NFL’s lockout, will uphold employers’ rights to impose lockouts.

The NBA projected $300 million in losses this season and said it lost hundreds of millions in every season of this CBA, ratified in 2005. League officials said 22 of the 30 teams would lose money.

But owners don’t just want to minimize their losses. They want to make a profit, along with developing a system in which small-market teams could compete with the biggest spenders. The Lakers and Mavericks, who won the last three NBA titles, are annually at the top of the list of highest payrolls.

So they took a hard-line stance from the start, with their initial proposal in 2010 calling for the institution of a hard salary cap system, along with massive reductions in contract lengths and elimination in contract guarantees. Though the proposal was withdrawn after a contentious meeting with players at the 2010 All-Star weekend, the league never moved from its wish list until recently.

Hunter said he believed it was hard for the players to ever move past the start of the process.

The expected lockout comes exactly one year after one of the NBA’s most anticipated days in recent years, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the celebrated class of 2010 became free agents. That free agency bonanza kicked off a flurry of moves, with James, Wade and Chris Bosh teaming in Miami, Amare Stoudemire heading to New York, and Carlos Boozer moving to Chicago.

It got the league started on a season where ratings, ticket and merchandise sales were up, weakening the owners’ case that the system was broken beyond repair. But it also demonstrated why they wanted changes, with Stern saying owners feel pressure to spend as much as possible to prove their commitment to winning to fans.

He agreed the league had a great year, but “not a profitable one.”

Stern wouldn’t say when negotiations would resume.

About 90 percent of NBA players get paid from Nov. 15 through April 30, so they won’t be missing checks for a while. But Stern has warned that the offers only get worse once a lockout starts, so the league could try to push through elements of its original proposal when bargaining resumes. Hunter said, however, that was not expressed to him Thursday.

Like with the NFL lockout, NBA players won’t be the only ones affected. Employees of teams and the league also face a very uncertain future. Stern admitted all options would be considered, including furloughs for his employees.

“The people who stand to have their livings impacted by a shutdown of our industry are going to have a negative view of both sides,” Stern said. “I think our fans will tend to have a negative view of why can’t you guys work this thing out.”

Written by: ESPN

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