NBA owners & players reach tentative agreement to end lockout

NEW YORK (AP) - NBA owners and players have reached a tentative

agreement to end the lockout.

Commissioner David Stern says the two sides have reached a

"tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals

and very complex machinations."

He says: "We're optimistic that will all come to pass and that

the NBA season will begin Dec. 25."

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more

than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season.

This handshake deal still must be ratified by both owners and


A majority on each side is needed. The NBA needs votes from 15

of 29 owners. (The league owns the New Orleans Hornets.) The union

needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members.