After a 149-day NBA lockout, team owners and players have finally agreed to play this season. Originally, the season was slated to start with a triple-header Christmas day, but the NBA has added two additional games. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost during the lockout for owners and players. Not to mention those whose jobs were affected by the lockout. The NBA plans to get in 66 games this season instead of a full 82 game schedule. Players and owners were having trouble agreeing to a new deal during the lockout. The new deal forced both sides to compromise. After the negotiations fans can expect a league that has more parity like the NFL. High-spending teams like the Los Angeles Lakers will not be able to compete as aggressively in free-agency because the league is enforcing a stricter luxury tax, which is designed to level the playing field by preventing teams from buying championships. The NBA is hoping smaller market teams will be able to be more competitive under the new deal. Lockouts are never really good from a marketing standpoint and the NBA brand may take a hit because of this lockout. Whether the owners or the players were right, either way its been a loss for fans because there was no basketball. Many people view both sides as selfish and NBA ratings may struggle this season. However, most people don’t really start caring about the NBA until after Christmas anyway so it may not greatly affect the NBA’s brand image. Either way, Christmas day is sure to be a treat for starved NBA fans that have had to go without basketball this season. The Boston Celtics have the season opening tip-off with the New York Knicks. Following that game the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks will have a rematch from last year’s NBA Finals. Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers will square off as well. The Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Kevin Durant will take on the Orlando Magic. Lastly, in a west coast showdown, Blake Griffin’s Los Angeles Clippers with play the Golden State Warriors Christmas night. Here is what some Bethel students have to say about the NBA lockout. “I’m really looking forward to watch, but I guess its made me think differently about the players,” said junior Laura Johnson. “Some of them might be a little greedier than I thought, because they are getting plenty of money, but I’ll definitely still watch it. I’m actually really excited for it to come on.” “I’m happy the season is back but I think its stupid they canceled so much of it,” said senior Tim Swope. “I’m excited to watch the NBA over Christmas break, Christmas day games are the best,” said senior Sarah Clark.