NBA Lockout Over
By Will Edem
The NBA Owners and Players have reached a tentative deal to end 149 day lockout. This news comes as a surprise because during the lockouts the NBA Player’s Association had disbanded and cut off all talk with the Owners of the teams. A secret meeting of about 15 hours was held between both sides early last week. Instead of its usually late October start, the NBA season will start on December 25th (Christmas Day) this season. The 2011-12 season will open with the Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, followed by Miami at Dallas in an NBA Finals rematch before MVP Derrick Rose and Chicago close the tripleheader against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Christmas Day has notoriously been the biggest day in the NBA’s regular season it will be no different this year.
For some players that decided to join to play overseas with lockout was happening, are probably wishing the lockout was still happening. For the handful of players that decided to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, they might not be able to return to play in the NBA this year. J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler Aaron Brooks, and Kenyon Martin are among the players that are reportedly under contracts that will not allow them to play in the NBA even if they decline their salary from the Chinese Basketball Association. The Chinese Basketball Association passed a rule that its teams could sign only NBA free agents during the lockout, and it was made explicit to those players they would have to play the full season to be given FIBA clearance letters to sign contracts with NBA teams. There have been reports of J.R. Smith having run-ins with his Chinese team. In retaliation to this behavior one Chinese basketball official says “If they think that they’re going to make things difficult, not play, create problems, what’s going to happen is that the teams will not release their letters of clearance that they will need to sign to the NBA.” This news of the players in China comes somewhat disheartening but NBA fans are thrilled that season will be back in action.