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 | 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. s kel

    Boo Hoo Hoo marc

    November 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brown eye


    November 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bigwilliestyles

    NBA players are well paid. But I just read an article that states that there are corporate executives that were paid between 25 and 74 MILLION dollars for 1 YEAR. NBA players don't employ lobbiests to purchase politicians to make sure they receive more billions in tax reductions and the NBA has never received a "bailout". So why all the venom? I can think of only one reason: the majority of them are Black.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The worm

    The people have spoken ows has gone far to activate the people ,take a second to think about it nepatisim sucks , thats what happens when things go union , i would never pay for a basket ball game, the chances,,,, get shot ,robbed, beat up, arrested for what? A stuppid game? If i want any of these things i can get it all with out watching a bunch of snot nosed adultrous brats!!!!!

    November 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The regime

    The nba is a bunch of left wing idiots ,ran by karen tony

    November 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maggot

    Lets watch the nba squrim now!!! They are nothing but a bunch of brats

    November 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The prince

    I wonder how much it costs to buy your way in to the nba? And than the bonuses of those after the probation if any???

    November 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. j. sale

    The fans should go on strike!...what about the fans? does anyone care about the fans? see what games would be like without fans in the stands. im just saying.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Johnmac


    November 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dewayne

      exactly, who cares when so many people are unemployed

      November 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GPerform

    I love how people want to bash the NBA players for going on strike when the MLB has had twice as many lockouts as the NBA. MLB average salary is very close to the NBA's but when they whine about wanting more money they don't get called a bunch of "brats" or "thugs" or "gang members" when half of the MLB players come from the same backgrounds as NBA and NFL players. And honestly it isn't about the fans when it comes to making thier money? Does a whole company's employees care about the service they aren't providing to customers when they go on strike? NO!! IT'S NOT ABOUT THE FANS! Grow up America, I swear most of you whine like my 3 year old does when he does when he doesn't get his way.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hasselhoff

    Yeah NBA i love you, even tho everyone else hates you now. I'm a fan.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hasselhoff

    CNN is a bunch of whiners.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. haole boy

    People were ticked off in 1994 for MLB as well. Attendance slid the following year big time. At least fans can turn to college basketball and ignore the NBA, as they should.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hockey!!!

    personally, i am perfectly fine with there being no NBA this season, or any other year (minus the impact it has on the service industry which it relies upon).

    for a brief moment, hockey was movin on up in the sports world.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe fish

    Should boycott games, the players are losers anyway. If it wasn't for basketball , they would be flipping burgers.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
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