NBA owners, players reach tentative deal

By BRIAN MAHONEY | November 26, 2011 | 3:51 AM EST

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 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.