01 November 2011
Dear NBA (Players, Owners, David Stern, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher, Adam Silver, et al.),
What the hell is going on? It’s November 1st and I am not watching NBA Basketball. I should be watching the on-going rivalry between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. I should be watching Dirk Nowitzki and the world champion Dallas Mavericks receive their well deserved championship rings during what was sure to be a raucous ring ceremony at home. Instead, I’ll probably go home and watch the new episodes of NCIS and NCIS:Los Angeles that I DVR’ed.
For the past 4 months we’ve been hearing about the lockout. BRI this. 50/50 split that. System issues. Hard caps. Soft caps. Flex caps. Decertification. Amnesty. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I feel that, in that time, I have actually become pretty proficient in labor law. I’ve explained the lockout to numerous people and have sounded more and more knowledgeable everytime I explain it. But its always felt like I was reading up on something that wasn’t real. Like I was reading a Hitchcock novel or something. You read it. You begin to gain some insight. But you never really process it as real. Well, I checked the future schedule for TNT, and it didn’t have any NBA basketball games on. It has officially become real.
So, there you go NBA. On a night where I, and most basketball fans (hardcore or fair-weather), should have been glued to our TV sets watching these 2 great games (plus one other game that we would’ve gotten on the free, beginning of the season preview of NBA League Pass), we are instead looking for alternatives. Tonight was the perfect night for an opener. No meaningful football games. The hype over LSU/Alabama still has not reached a frenzied state. The World Series is over. And I still can’t find a hockey game on cable or satellite TV to save my life. You had the slate all to yourselves……….and you blew it. You literally puked all over yourself in front of your hot prom date. Ben Stiller’s teenage character on ‘Something About Mary’ is literally laughing at how bad you blew it, and we know what he did to himself on prom night.
Let’s take a look at 10 storylines that would have dominated on Tuesday, November 1st 2011:
1. Dallas receiving their championship rings in their home/NBA opener with Mark Cuban hugging David Stern.
2. Will the Bulls continue their torrid run that began in the 2nd half of last season?
3. How will MVP Derrick Rose improve upon last season?
4. After years of epic playoff failure, how did Dirk Nowitzki spend this offseason. (He usually retreats back to Germany and engages in soul-searching.)
5. Will this be the year that age will finally begin to affect Kobe’s game, or will he find new ways to dominate? (On a related note, how will his new German-engineered plasma help his game?)
6. Can the Lakers get back on top for one final dynastic run?
7. Can the Thunder finally break-through and take the West?
8. Can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play their games and succeed on the same team?
9. How has KD, through his streetball tour offseason, improved his game.
10. How will a completely healthy Kendrick Perkins help the Thunder?
11. How will the rebuilding Jazz look, with rookies Alec Burk and Enes Kanter being the new faces in town?
12. The awesomeness of seeing “World Peace” on the back of someone’s jersey…..especially when that someone is crazy Uncle Ron-Ron.
13. Bonus – How did Hasheem Thabeet perform?
That’s 13 story lines about 3 games on a Tuesday night. A TUESDAY NIGHT, for goodness sakes! What other awesome thing is there to do on a Tuesday night? I’m a basketball junkie, so I’ll come back whenever it does. But, those fringe fans (the ones that actually debate whether to watch the game or Dancing With The Stars), those are the fans that the NBA will continue to lose as we move forward in this lockout. I should have been watching my team play their rivals this evening. Instead, I’m reading an article about Kevin Durant and Lebron James planning an exhibition flag football game, while watching NCIS. This is not how I envisioned my Novemeber 1st evening when the schedule first came out in mid-July. Gentlemen, we have our first real casualty of this fight. Let’s end this and bring peace to the land.
A fan (not that you care that much)