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Players, owners approve agreement

Updated: December 9, 2011, 11:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- NBA basketball is back, and commissioner David Stern insists it's better than before.

Maybe it won't be noticed right away, but Stern said the "tortured journey" of the 161-day lockout will prove to be worth it.

Stern announced that owners and players ratified a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday, the final step to ending the five-month lockout and paving the way for training camps and free agency to open Friday.

Together with an expanded revenue ...

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