NBA fans are in for a very merry Christmas after the 149-day league labor stoppage came to a close last Saturday, November 26, 2011.
Fans, players, owners and all others affected by the infamous lockout can finally breathe with ease knowing that a source of livelihood, entertainment and inspiration is back up and running.
The NBA season still took a hit in terms of time and income, thus the season was reduced from 82 games to 66. Players also missed their first paycheck of the season and were subject to excruciating uncertainty regarding their employment.
As a select group of players chose to seek work abroad, all those on the Los Angeles Lakers roster remained pat despite having their fair share of transfer speculation.
Fans of the Purple and Gold were left in wonder after hearing that four out of the team's five starters could be on the move. Thanks to the opt-out clauses that were said to have been provided in each offered contract, the only real risk of their departure would be injury.
Though all is finally well and good seeing as that a labor deal has finally been reached, it still does not dismiss the fact that there could have been some interesting scenarios if things went sour.
As much as the fans wanted a deal done, the talk of seeing players like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Metta World Peace in different threads probably excited them too. So here's a fun little look at what could have been, but will no longer be.