NBA owners reach labor deal… with referees. Sorry.

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The good news is that the NBA and its owners are capable of reaching a labor deal.

The bad news is it’s with the referees.

We told you the other day that the league’s referees were without a labor contract for the upcoming season. (And if you just said to yourself “good” then you forgot how bad the officiating was in the 2009 preseason when replacement referees were used.)

But the two sides have reached an agreement, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. No details have been released, plus both the and the referees’ rank and file still need to vote approval, but this seems to be in the bag.

The good omens here are that this was a pretty heated negotiation that included the referees union filing a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board back in April saying the league would not negotiate in good faith. Exactly like the players union did.

But a few months later we have a deal that everyone can live with.

If you’re looking for optimism on the players and owners talks, that’s the best we can do.