It’s about bloody time. From ESPN:

NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season on Christmas Day.

Neither side provided many specifics but said the only words players and fans wanted to hear.

“We want to play basketball,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season. This handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by both owners and players.

Stern said it was “subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25.”

The NBA lockout was an ugly spectacle to be sure. For five long months the game was hijacked by billionaire owners crying poor, and a playing group who think guaranteed multi-million dollar contracts are a birthright. It was sheer lunacy. But you know what? I am still pumped for this NBA season.

There will be some fascinating storylines to watch. Can LeBron James recover from his Finals meltdown and win his first ring in Miami? Will Kobe accept Mike Brown, and how will the Lakers fare in a ‘triangle-less’ system? Will Dwight Howard and Chris Paul force their way out of town, and where will they land? And just how great can Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin become?

It was a slow offseason here at NBAMate but we’ll ramp things up as the season progresses, with regular features such as the Sunday Six Pack, Aussie Round-up, Whats Doin and much more.

Stay tuned, we’re back in business.


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