November 28th, 2011
08:42 AM ET

A few hurdles for NBA, but then back-to-back-to-back games begin

The NBA players and owners have reached a tentative deal to end the league's months-long lockout and begin play by Christmas Day, but a few hurdles still remain to be cleared.

Both sides need to endorse the tentative agreement, leading to an official collective bargaining agreement and its eventual ratification. Both sides say they expect a resolution to come officially within the week.

"We've reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals. ... We're optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin on December 25 Christmas Day a triple-header," NBA Commissioner David Stern said Saturday. He didn't say which teams would play in the holiday games but added that it's expected there will be 66 games this season.

Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association, thanked fans for their role during the 149-day lockout.

"Our fans and the support from the people and (their) patience through a large part of this process that's where a lot of this credit goes to," Fisher said. "The efforts that have been made have been largely with them in mind."

And fans will certainly get their share of makeup games.

It will come in the form of some teams playing back-to-back games to fit their schedules in to the season. At least one pair of back-to-back games will be set for each team, the NBA said in a release breaking down the schedule. But no team will play more than three back-to-back-to-back games scheduled for the season, the league said. This frantic pace of quick turnarounds could also occur during the second round of the playoffs, the NBA said. And it could mean that some teams will have to stretch and make the most of their benches.

But whether some like that schedule setup or not,  having players on the bench ready to jump into the game and onto the court to play after all these months seems to be all that matters to the teams, players and fans.

There's been a fair share of bickering, quibbling and criticism surrounding the lockout. It was agonizing for many Americans to watch people fight over millions while some workers employed by the teams faced losing health insurance and local businesses suffered losses without any games played.

At the center of the dispute behind the lockout was the debate over how much of the league's revenue share should go to players, including for pensions and medical benefits, something their union funded in the past. Other thorny issues were the soft salary cap and the luxury tax. A hard cap does not allow teams to exceed the salary cap for any reason, whereas a soft cap lets teams exceed the cap to retain a player under the so-called Larry Bird rule. The luxury tax kicks in when teams exceed the soft cap by a certain amount.

Certainly, when the season tipoff begins, many fans will be happy to no longer hear about all these business details but just be glad to see players finally getting down to the business of playing ball.

Read the terms of the tentative deal | SI.com: NBA leaders compromise for greater good

And if you just can't wait to see how things will break down for the teams, the NBA released these details of how the schedule will play out for the 2011-20212 season via Twitter on Sunday night:

Regular season start date: December 25

Regular season end date: April 26

Playoffs start date: April 28

Last possible finals date: June 26

Individual team schedule breakdown

Conference games: 48

• Play six teams four times (two home, two away)

• Play four teams three times (two home, one away)

• Play four teams three times (one home, two away)

Nonconference games: 18

• Play three teams two times (one home, one away)

• Play six teams one time at home

• Play six teams one time away

Back-to-back-to-backs: All teams will have at least one but no more than three.

Playoff back-to-backs: Possible in second round

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. TexMan

    I think they should take at least a year off. Then maybe the owners and players will realize that they exist for the pleasure of the public ....... and not vice versa. If I never see another NBL game it will be too soon.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Snarky1

    Your name is Hasselhoff and you're calling CNN WHINERS?? Go eat a burger off the florr, you dolt!

    November 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. truth

    F these people. I used to love to watch the NBA. F em and feed them to some crocodiles.

    November 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Lonewolf

    Who give a $*it! Do us all a favor and go back on strike you bunch of over payed goof offs. Can't hold a job.

    November 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike

    Bunch of crybabies... Who give a eff on these NBA.

    November 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Nba. Fan

    Losers....

    November 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. usa

    who cares. just dont go to the games and see if they like that. people need to stop putting stars higher then god. really you can stop it now. its getting old. if they want more money then they should stop buying stupid $h!t.....duh

    November 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. six

    Just finished reading the texts. Damn

    November 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ben

    Nice to see people are not falling for the "tribal team events" that only used to distract the simple minded.

    November 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Boskoo

    Only morons will have anthing to do with the NBA. Boycott them.

    November 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Msxlair

    Can't wait to see miami lose again!

    November 29, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. old fan

    wow, millions of americans who can't find a job and these who have one, plus making millions to work are refusing to... if your not happy being made rich to play a childs game then sorry to tell you but there is not a light at the end of the tunnel for you.... now time for the fans to go on strike..........

    November 29, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. noemi

    Never watch nba. They any sportisnt worth what they get paid.they aren't as good as they think.only sport I've paid money to go see was the cards St.louis. 14yrs ago and it was expensive then.have never seen 1 live since.and they're a good team but, not one man is worth the millions they get.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. klownboy

    Nice to see the NBA use some common sense for a change.
    http://theklowntimes.net/2011/11/28/to-the-nba-way-to-come-to-your-senses-fellas/

    November 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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