I suppose I’ll always remember where I was when I got the news that the NBA collective bargaining negotiations had broken down and that the 2011-12 season was in jeopardy. It’s one of those iconic memories, like when JFK was shot, or 9/11. I was channel surfing between the History channel and Monday Night Football, I think it was, or maybe I saw it on Drudge, whatever. All I know is, how much more can one nation take? I mean, first we survive 8 years of W, then we elect Bambi as our President, and now we have to face the very real possibility that there may be no NBA season. I know that bad things come in threes but this is ridiculous.
No NBA? You might as well say, No more asparagus for dessert, or, No more Chevy Volt!! Just what do they expect us to do between 11 and 11:15 every night if there are no monster dunk high lights on ESPN? Just where do they expect Bill Walton to find gainful employment, for God’s sake? I’m not here to take sides. The Owners and the Players both make valid points. But there are lots of things that neither side has considered in their long deliberations. Here are just a few:
1. Unemployment is already over 9%. Has anyone thought about the impact that no NBA games will have on the Tattoo industry in this country?
2. Is the Toupee business healthy enough to survive an unemployed Marv Albert?
3. Have Strip Club owners been consulted on what the impact would be of having no NBA players making it rain up in here?
But it’s not just about money. What about the nightly traditions of NBA games that we have all grown to love. Think of all we will be missing, think of all we will NOT get to see every night on TNT:
*entire teams of elite athletes that play no defense
*point guards who routinely palm the ball
*amazing cross-over dribble drives to the basket that feature 3-4 steps between dribbles
*the playoff intensity feel to routine regular season games between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers
*players who earn 20 million dollars a year but can only manage to make 55% of their free throws
*the Dream Team
*Lebron James’ pregame ritual of throwing chalk in the air in a desperate cry for help, “Look at ME!!!”
*Spike Lee on the front row at Madison Square Garden in a desperate cry for help, “Look at ME too!! I used to make movies, now I just hang out here and try to get on Sports Center!”
*All-Star weekend and the resulting perp-walk highlights.
*Magic Johnson TV commercials for Rent-A-Center
It’s sure to be a long and boring winter. At some point the beleaguered and forgotten fan might well rise up in anger at the selfishness of both sides. In the spirit of the times perhaps they should start an “Occupy” movement. Fans could Occupy the Boston Garden and the Staples Center with signs that say, “WE ARE THE 1%...who care about the NBA”.