NBA 2011 lockout over, season to start on Christmas
NBA players and owners have reached a tentative deal to end the 2011 lockout. The owners got pretty much what they wanted while the players saw their share of revenue slashed from 57% to between 49% and 51%.
The owners and NBA Commissioner David Stern say the new deal is necessary because the league was losing money — $300 million last year alone — and that small-market teams were struggling to stay afloat.
Rather than address the problems that got the league into this situation — namely the absence of real revenue sharing between large- and small-market teams — the owners essentially extorted the players. They locked the players out, which led to the loss of 16 regular season games and cost both the players and owners $400 million in lost revenue.
Ironically, a former player, Michael Jordan, now owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was one of the most hardline owners. According to the New York Times, Jordan was the leader of a faction of "between 10 and 14 owners" who "wanted the players' share capped at 47 percent."
The deal still needs to be ratified by a majority of teams and players. Before that happens the players need to dismiss their anti-trust lawsuit to reform their union.
As of now, the 2011-2012 NBA season could start on Christmas Day. Training camp starts Dec. 9.
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