The NBA is set to add two more games to the planned season kick-off on Christmas Day, for a total of five games.
According to ESPN, Oklahoma City will host Orlando before Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers visit Golden State on Christmas night.
The games were added on Friday (December 2) to the three already scheduled for the 2011-12 season, which were originally unveiled — including Boston at New York, Miami at Dallas, and Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA Commissioner David Stern previously said the league hoped to open the season with that tripleheader after announcing that a tentative agreement on a new labor deal had been made in the days following Thanksgiving.
A revised 66-game schedule is expected to be released Tuesday night (December 6) during an NBA TV special.
Here’s where to watch the opening day games.
TNT will televise the opener, while ABC gets the NBA Finals rematch (Dallas vs. Miami) and the Bulls versus the Lakers (who will play their first game under former Cleveland coach Mike Brown).
The final two (OKC/Orlando and Clippers/Warriors) will air on ESPN.
Despite all the good news, the December 25th opening date is contingent on the CBA being ratified next week.
Lawyers for the league and players’ association resumed negotiations Friday (December 2) on the remaining issues — drug testing, the draft eligibility age, and the commissioner’s power to discipline. They hope to complete the agreement Tuesday (December 6), so it could be presented at a meeting of player representatives Wednesday (December 7), then both sides would vote to ratify it Thursday (December 8).
If that happens, training camps and free agency would open December 9.