In the end, they shook hands on a CBA that saved all but 16 games of the 2011-12 season and enabled a Christmas Day start, albeit with a compacted schedule and truncated training camp that left teams with little time to assemble rosters and prepare for the regular season. Would the players and owners put their adversarial past behind them and proceed as partners? Would the 2012 postseason convince fans to forget all about the mess of the 2011 offseason and preseason? This was yet to be determined.
Six days later, a new deal sent Paul to the Clippers in exchange for emerging star Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the unprotected 2012 first-round pick of the Timberwolves. Stern appeared willing to accept the criticism for his veto to create a more promising future for the Hornets, but the controversy inflamed all of the divisions of the lockout.