117076293 Tentative Deal Reached In NBA Lockout

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates a point against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 12, 2011 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Jason Terry scored 27 points and Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks won 105-95 to take the best-of-seven championship series four-games-to-two to claim their first NBA championship in franchise history. AFP Photo / Don Emmert

NEW YORK (AP/CBS SPORTS/CBSDFW.COM) – 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 players.  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.

Among the roadblocks, the players have to reassemble their union, which disbanded last week.

CBSSports.com is reporting training camp would begin Dec. 9, with a slate of 3 games set for Christmas Day.  In a press conference Stern said he was not sure what teams would be playing that day.

The Dallas Mavericks were scheduled to play the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Center in a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals on December 25, as of 5:00 a.m. Saturday there has been no word on if that will change.

The Mavericks are the defending NBA champions, defeating the Heat in a 6-game NBA Finals in June.