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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 12/09/2011

Wizards’ Ted Leonsis voted to approve new labor deal

Ted Leonsis confirmed on his blog, Ted’s Take, that he was among the 25 NBA owners who voted to approve the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that would ensure a 66-game season beginning on Christmas. Five owners voted against the new deal.

Leonsis was fined $100,000 before last season when he declared his preference for a labor deal that included a salary cap structure similar to the NHL. The deal approved by the owners does not have a hard salary cap but it does possess a nearly 50-50 split of basketball-related income, a reduction in contract lengths and annual raises, a harsher luxury tax penalty and other restrictions that make it harder for high-spending teams to improve.

Teams can begin signing rookies and free agents beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday and the Wizards will hold their first practice at Verizon Center three hours later. Leonis addressed some of the reports that labeled him as a hard-line “hawk” during the negotiations in his blog. He wrote:

“There is no need to look backwards- to address issues raised during the lockout. There was a lot said - a lot written - a lot speculated. Some of it seemed quite emotional - some if it hurtful; some of it factually incorrect. But we move forward now - we take the high road - as the quiet period is over - we talk of a new day and a go forward plan, only! My main focus during all of the negotiations and discussions was that we all have the opportunity to craft a team that can be competitive - that can be kept together and that can compete for championships.”


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