Tentative NBA Labor Deal Approved

Better late than never. NBA players and owners have reportedly agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement that would salvage the league’s 2011-2012 season.

The tentative agreement was reached on Saturday, the 149th day of the lockout that has already wiped out the whole pre-season and almost 20 games of the regular season. Under the agreed deal, teams will play 66 games each, 48 of which against squads from within their conference. The cramped season might also require teams to play at least one stretch of three-straight nights. An outline of the shortened season posted on Twitter showed that the regular season will end on April 26. The NBA is looking at Christmas Day to jumpstart the season.

“We want to play basketball,” NBA commissioner David Stern said after the tentative deal was approved. Stern said the approved deal may still undergo modifications but added that he was confident everything will be sorted out in time for the start of the season. “We’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25,” he said.