NBA owners, players reach tentative deal

continued from page 2

It finally yielded the second shortened season in NBA history, joining the 1998-99 lockout that reduced the schedule to 50 games. This time the league will miss 16 games off the normal schedule.

Though the deal’s expected to be approved, it may not be unanimous as there are factions of hard-liners in both camps who will be unhappy with substantive portions of the deal.

“Let’s all pray this turns out well,” Pacers forward Danny Granger wrote on Twitter.

But getting what the owners wanted took a toll. Stern, after more than 27 years as the league’s commissioner, hoped to close a deal much sooner but was committed for fighting for the owners’ wishes even at the risk of damaging his legacy. Hunter dealt with anger from agents and even questions from his own players about his strategy, wondering why it could so long for the players to use the threat of litigation to give them leverage that had otherwise eluded them.

The sides met just twice in the first two months of the lockout before stepping up the pace in September, when it was already too late to open camps on time. The sides tried meeting in small groups, large groups and even mediation, but nothing sparked compromise.

Things changed this week with the entrance of Jim Quinn, a former NBPA counsel who had good relationships on both sides. The meeting Friday was held at the office of his law firm, though he did not take part.

Hunter said the terms of the deal would come out shortly, preferring to keep them private until they could be shared with the players. They might not like the deal, but it will be better than what many of them feared. Resigned to possibly missing the season, some had signed deals overseas so they would have some paycheck.

Instead, they’re a step closer to returning home.

___

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami and White House reporter Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player