NBA Lockout Officially Ends as Players and Owners Ratify New Agreement

New 10-year collective bargaining agreement will save owners hundreds of millions a year, while preserving the “soft” salary cap the players union fought hard to retain.

Posted: 12/08/2011 07:26 PM EST

 After four months and seven days, the bitter NBA lockout has ended, league commissioner David Stern announced at a press conference Thursday.


Voting separately, players and owners ratified a new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement that promises owners savings of an estimated quarter billion dollars a year, and also keeps the “soft” salary cap system the players union insisted on as a key element.


Owners approved the deal by a 25-5 vote. The National Basketball Players Association said 86 per cent of the more than 200 players who voted approved the deal, which allows either side to opt out after six years.


The two sides had agreed in principle on a new pact in the early morning hours of Nov. 26, averting the possible cancellation of the rest of the NBA season and the prospect of protracted court battles.


A shortened 66-game regular season schedule will get under away on Christmas Day.


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(Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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