For basketball fans, players, and owners around the world, Christmas Day will be much brighter this year, as the NBA has announced a tentative agreement in principle on November 26, 2011. After 15-hours of negotiations that began on “Black Friday”, both sides finally came to an agreement at approximately 3 A.M. in New York.
Though both sides didn’t get exactly what they wanted out of the negotiations, both are satisfied, as the owner’s were able to shrink the players’ initial Basketball Related Income (B.R.I) from 57 percent down to an estimated number between 50-51 percent. There are still B-side issues like age limit, drug testing, D-League, etc to be discussed in future meetings when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will come into fruition.
As of now, here is a rundown of the potential new season:
- Free Agency and Training camps will both begin on December 9th, that means while players and coaching staff begin work for the 2011-12’ season, agents and front office personnel will be contacting free agents and discussing new deals.
- The opening of the season is set to begin on December 25th, Christmas Day. There will be a triple-header as the Boston Celtics play the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks receive their Championship rings as they face the Miami Heat in a rematch of last years finals, and the Chicago Bulls open in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Now, here’s a current rundown of the 12 Spurs under contract:
-Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, James Anderson, Antonio McDyess, Danny Green, and Da’Sean Butler.
The Spurs have two rookies whom are waiting to sign their contracts in Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph. That would put the team at 14-players under contract.
Antonio McDyess was on the verge of retiring when the season ended last year. Parker, Green, Butler, and Splitter are all overseas right now playing in different leagues. Parker had just experienced a shoulder injury and Splitter only played a few games with Valencia. Green is in Slovenia and Butler was only on a two-week tryout period with his team in Europe. All players are expected to return to the Spurs now that the lockout has ended.
If McDyess does retire, then that would leave the Spurs with 13 filled-roster spots as of December 9th. With 13-spots, the Spurs have an opportunity to look into the free agent pool that would be worse than a circus with the rushed timing. Various outlets have also indicated that an amnesty provision will be included in the new CBA so that could mean Jefferson’s contract could be bought out in the coming season.
Here are some Spurs players reactions on Twitter upon hearing the lockout had ended:
Richard Jefferson: “Thank you fans for the support. Looking forward to bring a championship to San Antonio this season. #SPURS #CHAMPS”
Cory Joseph: “Lockout is over!!! Last time the lockout ended the spurs won the championship. Let’s hope history repeats itself #GoTime”
Danny Green: “I think we jus made a DEAL! Ppl better not b playing wit my emotions lol”
Manu Ginobili: “I turned on the phone and msgs saying “end of the lockout” start popping! Is it true? Gotta keep reading…”
As for the scheduling, it’s unknown if games will be cut from the end of the season and start from the original lineup or vice-versa. More details will continue to be released in the coming days and we here at Project Spurs are excited to bring you the most coverage during the 2011-12’ San Antonio Spurs season as we had been doing during the NBA lockout.
So for now, be joyful that basketball will live in America. Rest your vocal pipes because on Christmas Day it’s time to say, “GO SPURS GO!”