NBA: where nothing will happen

NBA: where nothing will happen

Shaun Lal, Sports Editor

Update: The 2011-2012 NBA season began on Dec. 25 and was shortened from 82 to 66 games. 

The most talked about event in sports last year was Lebron James’ “ Decision”. The 2011 NBA Finals garnered the highest basketball television ratings in seven years. Basketball jersey sales have been on a steady increase since 2002, the Year of the Yao.

So, obviously the right thing to do is cancel the next season, right?

Owners and players alike are acting outright disrespectful towards the loyal and eager fans of the National Basketball Association in their discord over their nonexistent collective bargaining agreement, and subsequent lockout.

Obviously, there are some incredibly important issues in the league that need repair. As of now, the still unsolved topics of discussion include the unfair balance of competition between lower and top-tier teams, a “hard” or strict salary cap versus a “soft” or loose salary cap, and a revenue split of $3.5-$$4 billion. Yeah, billion.

However, we are now entering 100 days of a lockout, and news has surfaced that training camps and at least 43 preseason games will be cancelled. In 1998, the last year that the NBA experienced a lockout, preseason was cancelled, and the season was shortened to 50 games. It is time to fix this.

Basketball has successfully become a global sport, as shown by the array of international stars like  Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and our friendly northern neighbor Steve Nash.

The NBA can also showcase new Spanish protégé, 20 year old Ricky Rubio, who waited two years to mature before entering the NBA, despite the Minnesota Timberwolves drafting him fifth.

Oh wait: the 2011-2012 NBA season which he vowed to play in will probably not exist.

A basketball lockout equates to no Lebron and Kobe matchups. No chance for the Heat to try and prove themselves, again. No Thunder, Knicks, Grizzlies, Magic, Jazz, Bulls. Mark Cuban finally won his championship, but we do not get to see the Mavericks verify their legitimacy. Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin lost the stage on which to awe his coalition of admirers.

And think about all of the secondary economic beneficiaries, who cannot provide for their families without the basketball season: the hot dog vendors, the custodians, the security staff, the “ice cold beer!” guy, the Colorado State Judicial Branch, the Metropolitan Police Department’s gun control offices…the performers in gentlemen’s clubs.

What would these innocent employees do for money if NBA teams were not traveling from city to city?

Seriously, the 2011-2012 NBA season is—sorry, would be—an important year for numerous rebuilding teams and many other top contenders.

Teams like the Houston Rockets just stepped on the right track to rebuilding, thanks to Yao’s tragic yet overdue retirement. Michael Jordan finally decided to be a real president of the Bobcats and take responsibility for a real roster, and the Grizzlies are finally a playoff contender.

We get it; the owners do not have a need for the money, but when was the point of a basketball career to make money?

Basketball is a sport driven by the people, for the people. Not many other sports have the entertainment value to be nightly star-studded events.

As a devoted fan, I can honestly say: players, owners, lawyers, and mediators; get your act together and give us a basketball season. Owners, we would watch the season. And players, trust me. We do not sympathize with your salary cap.