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2011 NBA Lockout: A Fan's Lament

Our friend S. Mart is back with his impression about how the labor talks have broken down. 


We knew this was coming.

For a year now the overwhelming sentiment was that the owners were going to lock out the players due to the fact that the owners weren’t happy about the current CBA and that the system needed to change.  Of course the players feel that what they have now is fine and that it should stay the way it is.  Either way what does it mean for us fans?  It means no summer league basketball, no preseason basketball, and possibly no regular season either.  From all accounts, this could be a long one.

Let’s be honest:  the owners themselves created this mess.  The amount of money some of these players get is absurd.  However, no one put a gun to their heads and told them to sign a bench warmer for eight million dollars.  The owners aren’t helping themselves either when yesterday the Portland Trailblazers made a qualifying offer to Greg Oden for nearly nine million dollars.  That makes him a restricted free agent and they can match any offer.  Wait…they want to keep the same Greg Oden who’s played 82 games….in four seasons????  For that amount of money?  Yeah, I can see the owners really want to get this system fixed.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the NBA.  The league is coming off one of its best seasons to date.  The Mavericks and their cool owner played spoiler to Lebron James and company to deny them a title in their first year together.  They have a crop of young stars poised to take over the league in Derrick Rose, Kevin Durrant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and others.  Finally, TV ratings have been through the roof ever since Lebron’s ill advised "The Decision" fiasco.  Casual fans were coming back to the NBA.  Now, if there is a long lockout you can count those casual fans out.  I’m sure the die-hard fan like yourself will come back to watch but will it be the same after a possible one-year hiatus?  I doubt it.

Thankfully, it’s only July.  The last lockout lasted till January and they got a 50 game season in.  The same could happen here.  However, with the major overhaul that the owners want in the economic system of the league this could be a long one.  If the owners hold solidarity and doesn’t waiver on this issue it could be the death nail in the NBA for the 2011-2012 season.  It’s all about which side will crack first.

Of course we can all turn to hockey or baseball for our sports fix.