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Details were provided to owners Saturday afternoon in what would be described as a largely congratulatory teleconference. A person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press that some owners said they wished certain issues _ usually ones specific to smaller markets _ were addressed, but many were simply relieved the process was nearing an end.

“The way the deal shakes out, particularly the system issues, there’s something in there for every owner to hate,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the pact still needs to be ratified. “A number of the small market owners may feel bad that they were not protected the way they thought they were going to be protected. Having said that, virtually all of them say it’s better to play than not to play or lose the season.”

Players filed an amended antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota on Monday that could have earned the players billions but surely would have come at the cost of at least the entire 2011-12 season.

The sides said all along the only way to a deal was through negotiating. They got back together Tuesday, setting the way for the pivotal meeting that began Friday.

“I think we saw a willingness of both sides to compromise yet a little more and to reach this agreement,” Silver said. “We look forward to opening on Christmas Day and we are excited to bring NBA basketball back and that’s most important.”

Now, players must drop a lawsuit against the league and reform their disbanded union before they can vote on the deal. Hunter said it could take anywhere from three days to a week to get that completed.

Once the pact is approved, it would pave the way for training camps and free agency to open simultaneously Dec. 9, setting off a chaotic flurry of activity that could leave coaches running practices with different players arriving each day. There could be an even larger pool of free agents if teams use the amnesty clause, which allows them to waive one player during the deal and have 100 percent of his salary taken off the cap and the tax.

President Barack Obama gave a thumbs-up when told about the tentative settlement after he finished playing basketball at Fort McNair in Washington on Saturday morning.

Because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can only be completed once the union has reformed. Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the players and the league, which also must dismiss its lawsuit regarding the legality of the lockout.

“We’re very pleased we’ve come this far,” Stern said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

A number of minor issues remain unsettled, such as sponsorship patches being added to jerseys and how the preseason should work.

Some major matters _ like revenue sharing, which the NBA has said it will not really dive into until a new CBA is complete _ remain on the table as well. Meetings on that issue take place every few days, and the person briefed on the status of the NBA’s discussions said many teams are not thrilled by the notion of paying both a luxury tax and into a revenue-sharing pool.

When the NBA returns, owners hope to find the type of parity that exists in the NFL, where the small-market Green Bay Packers are the current champions. The NBA has been dominated in recent years by the biggest spenders, with Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas winning the last four titles.

“I think it will largely prevent the high-spending teams from competing in the free-agent market the way they’ve been able to in the past. It’s not the system we sought out to get in terms of a harder cap, but the luxury tax is harsher than it was. We hope it’s effective,” Silver said.

“We feel ultimately it will give fans in every community hope that their team can compete for championships.”

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