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Team owners, players reach tentative deal, NBA season to return by Xmas

The Sacramento Kings should be back on the court by this time next month, according to reports this morning that claim that NBA team owners and players are finalizing a deal to bring the labor lockout to an end. If everything goes as planned, the league plans to play a shortened 66-game season with training camps set to open December 9th.

The tentative agreement is still only a “handshake deal” at this time, but both sides seem optimistic that a partial season will be salvaged beginning with a marquee tripleheader on December 25th.

No word yet on when the Kings would return to Power Balance Pavilion, but today’s news is seen as an early Christmas present for the support staff that work at the arena. Janitorial staff had worried that if the lockout continued they could have lost their health insurance. Off-duty Sheriff Deputies who provided supplemental security lost $1,000 or more in wages during the work stoppage. Now with games set to return, the staff at the arena can look forward to getting back to work.

Officials working on financing plans for the proposed new sports and entertainment center at the Downtown Railyards site will undoubtedly also be pleased to see the lockout come to an end. Many throughout the region had seen the labor dispute as a momentum killer, and even Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was seen as distancing his efforts from the problems with the league. The NBA has set a March 1st deadline as the date when Sacramento must have all its financing plans for the construction of a new arena completed or else the Maloof family has permission to take the team elsewhere.

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