NBA fans nearly missed a myriad of story lines and events for the 2011-12 season.
With reports of a handshake agreement to be finalized in the coming week, the NBA owners and Players Association can still save things in time for a Christmas Day start.
It appears that they finally realized this lockout differed greatly from the one in 1999.
Following up one of its most intriguing seasons ever by then missing an entire year would have set the league back half a decade or more.
Last season had too many unfinished story lines, built too much excitement for 2012 and was one of the first times in years where nearly everything seemed to be going right for the NBA. They should have been taking another big step towards their next golden age.
Instead, both sides nearly pissed away their popularity, good will and credibility for a percentage point or two.
Missing the next chapter was going to create a disjointed story which just wouldn't read well even if and when the NBA did resume.
Thankfully, a new deal is coming. Here are 25 NBA story lines we now get to enjoy this season.