1 Dec 2011

NBA begins to wake up

8:13 am on 1 December 2011

The National Basketball Association (NBA) began stirring back to life overnight with player agents and team officials formally allowed to begin discussions about free agents in anticipation of next month's start of the delayed season.

The league also said that teams could open their facilities to players starting today in advance of the planned opening of training camps next Saturday, which has also been set as the first day for free agent signings.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank says players would be welcomed back for the first time since the lockout began for voluntary player workouts and physicals.

The handshake agreement on a new collective bargaining deal between club owners and players that was reached Sunday was still to be ratified, but the machinery was in motion for an expected Christmas Day start-up that would include a Dallas-Miami rematch of last season's NBA Finals.