NBA lockout draws little attention, depresses fans

By By Ben Hollander, Staff Writer


Here I am writing, curled up in my room with nothing but my laptop and my bitterness on a night that was supposed to be oh so very special.


In an ideal world, Kobe, KD, D-Rose and the Dallas Mavericks, the defending champs, would be headlining the start to the new NBA season tonight, and I would be staring at my television like it was on fire. Unfortunately, this happens not to be on my agenda for the night, and the NBA remains locked in a dispute between players and the NBA itself.


Seeing how the entire first month of the season has already been slashed, I do not see much hope for a 2011-2012 NBA season, and I predict the lockout will last quite a while. The average fan might be okay with this realization and may not be giving the lockout the attention it deserves, but it’s for one reason: it’s football season. Let’s be honest, the only reason people don’t care about the lockout right now is because football season is in full swing and Kevin Durant looks sweet playing pick-up games against people entirely less athletically gifted than himself.


Come February, the only professional sport to watch is going to be hockey, except for Kobe’s occasional Italian league games that Charles Barkley might be announcing on TNT. There is a reason why the NBA is in the US and it is because most of the players are from the US and because we have the largest viewing market in the world. The lockout is giving countries like Italy, Turkey and China a chance to gobble up American basketball superstars to make their leagues more interesting while the NBA becomes increasingly
more stagnated.


Missing a full season of basketball is going to be a nightmare for some teams. The average age of the starting lineup for last year’s champions is 32. The last thing the team needs is another year to pass for its veterans who may not have many more years to continue to play proficiently together.


How about Miami’s Big Three coming off a season with so much hype and high hopes for a ring? How will a season without pay from their Godzilla contracts affect their ability to come together to win? Last year’s MVP Derek Rose and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant are going to miss a valuable season where they are both in their prime and ready to lead their young teams further into the playoffs than before.


If NBA commissioner David Stern were more concerned about having an NBA season than debating whether to bring back his lockout beard from ’98, we might have had a deal by now. The truth remains that the NBA still does not have the weight of impact on American society that the NFL does and therefore will not be able to crank out a deal to salvage the season like the NFL did.


I hope my predictions are wrong and there happens to be a shortened NBA season this year. Lack of practice surely does not faze any NBA superstar, and no real star starts trying until playoffs roll around anyway. So to Commissioner Stern and NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter, please work out a deal, any deal, in a timely fashion. If only to help out my unemployed brother Kris Humphries out. The man needs his paycheck more than ever now that he might only be getting half of it.