Why, after 149 days of debilitating disagreement, were the owners and players finally able to get a deal to end the NBA lockout on Friday? According to NBA.com's David Aldridge, the sides became desperate to hammer out an agreement and save the season before it was too late.
"Everyone felt the urgency of getting a 'real' season," Alridge said on NBA TV, which is owned by the league but operated by Turner Sports. "Nobody wanted a repeat of '99 with a 50-game season."
The deal will allow the league to produce a 66-game season beginning on December 25 with a slate of nationally televised games that should provide a huge ratings push for the NBA. The playoffs and NBA Finals are expected to each start a week late. The entire schedule will be re-written, though the Christmas schedule may remain the same.
Reports had indicated that without a deal by the end of the weekend, Stern may have opted to cancel the entire season rather than repeat 1999, when a 50-game season began in February.