I’m probably the worst person to write a blog post about the NBA Lockout because I am decidedly neutral when it comes to these things. The way I see it, the NBA is a business (no matter how eloquently Malcolm Gladwell argues otherwise) and this is simply a business negotiation. As such, both sides are going to dig in and try to get the best deal possible.
Do not try to persuade me with Gladwell-ian arguments that the NBA, or sports in general, are not like other businesses. I understand that other businesses don’t have the collateral damage of the fans being deprived of watching their heroes (although Peyton Manning may beg to differ,) but the playing NBA basketball will be most players’ chief source of income for the rest of their lives and while owning an NBA team is not the main business for most owners, it is still a huge investment. Bottom line: there is a shitload of money at stake.
This is why I don’t get frustrated or upset about the
prospect reality of losing NBA regular season games. When a shitload of money is at stake, things are going to get messy. And that’s where we are right now: things have gotten quite messy. In my opinion, here are the two most relevant tweets regarding the possibility of the NBA playing games this season:
You can essentially read these tweets as the first point leading to the second. The owners’ offers are only going to get worse to “make up” for lost revenue. The players will likely feel compelled to not accept lesser offers since they’re determined to “show resolve.” Again, I’m not on a “side” here… that’s just the these things go. Ultimately, both sides have “dug in” and it’s about the get really ugly. The stakes are high (read: money) and both sides are thinking long-term. What’s sad is we all know which side is in a better position to withstand a protracted stand-off. It’s too bad we can’t just fast forward to the breaking point and get on with things, already.
As for what fans should do and how they should take this news? Go see a movie. I’m not kidding. I’ve seen too many tweets tonight reciting a variation on the refrain “us fans are stupid/idiots/suckers for caring so much.” I truly don’t get that. You’re a fan of the NBA because you love the game of basketball. Period. Leave the BS behind the scenes to the owners and the players. Don’t take it personally and it won’t have an impact on you. Does it suck that we’re missing NBA games? Absolutely. As a Knicks fan I’m pretty pissed that we’re not going to be able to watch Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, & Co. take a run at the Miami Heat after years of futility at The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Granted, I only blog for fun, so I’m speaking as someone whose life doesn’t revolve around the NBA, but I’m pisses nonetheless about missing out on Knicks basketball. However, there are plenty of other ways I can occupy my time. Aside from the NFL, NHL, and College Basketball/Football, living in Los Angeles presents me with plenty of things to do to take my mind off the lack of NBA basketball. I’m sure there are plenty of things for you to explore in your own city.
So take this time to try something new. Heck, you might even discover a new hobby. And when the lockout ends, jump right back into the deep end of the NBA pool, without reservation. There’s no reason to feel foolish for sticking with the NBA after the lockout. Don’t ever forget why you love this game and don’t ever, ever, EVER let the in-fighting between the owners and players sour you on the beautiful game of basketball. Once the bright lights come on and the games start, all of the nonsense from this lockout will fade away and all that will be left is the games. And that’s why we care. That’s why we love this game.