After nearly five months of contentious negotiations that eventually caused the players to disband their union and file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA, the two sides finally agreed to a deal that would allow players to receive a 49 to 51 percent “band” of basketball-related income, which would be linked to league profitability. Basically the players who received 57 percent last year, have conceded that will give back nearly $3 billion to the owners over the length of the deal. What did the owners give up you ask? The owners received a harsher salary cap system that punishes high-spending teams. League play is expected to start on Christmas Day.
Details within the tentative agreement still need to be hashed out, and both sides are prohibited from publicly disclosing them given the sensitive nature of the on-going litigation. The deal is expected to be approved by 15 of the 29 owners (the NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets). The players also would have to dismiss their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota, reconstruct the union and pass the deal by a majority vote of its 430-plus members.
So what were the five top stories during the 149-day NBA Lockout? Our own Pat Mayo takes a look.