Players eager to stretch their limbs on the court after the 149-day lockout finally had the opportunity on Thursday when owners opened the doors to their facilities for the first time since July 1.
Players could work-out on their home court but their coaching staffs couldn’t be present because a new labor deal is still being ironed out.
"I've got to be the happiest person in the world right now just to be back in the gym, getting a chance to work out with a couple of my teammates," Chris Paul told the Associated Press. "I'm just happy to be back and be back on the court, as I'm sure all the players are."
Since more than 300 players have submitted signatures authorizing the re-formation of the National Basketball Players' Association, owners are on track to open training camps next week. The union coming back together paves the way for contract negotiations to continue. The goal is to complete the CBA by next week so that both sides can ratify in time for training camp on Dec. 9.
It was in the early morning hours of Nov. 26, NBA players and owners agreed upon a tentative deal that appeared to include a 50-50 split of revenues. However, the final amount will depend on whether the league exceeds or falls short of revenue projections. After reaching the preliminary deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern said he was optimistic those details would fall into place and that the season would kick off on Christmas Day.
The agreement is expected to be a 10-year deal, and either side will be able to end it after six years. The deal seems to overwhelmingly favor the owners. It will include a significant pay cut for players, along with shorter contracts, smaller raises and a more punitive tax system to reign in the top-spending teams, writes the New York Times.
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Carmelo Anthony is happy to be back in practice. (Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)