As November inches closer and closer, the chances of the NBA season starting on time seems unlikely. The players and owners have yet to come to an agreement on how to split basketball related income (BRI). Until they do, no games will be played. If the lockout were a game, we’re coming up on the fourth quarter and we certainly do not want to go into overtime. A deal needs to be made, and if there is no labor agreement made by next Monday, the first two weeks of the season will be canceled.
This news is most depressing for NBA fans. October is the time of year to get excited about the upcoming season. It is the time for a fresh start for your team and old rivalries to be renewed. It is certainly not the time to read article after article on the possibility of not having a season.
The lockout is confusing for the average fan. In fact, it seems as if it is confusing for all parties involved, otherwise a solution would have been reached by now. It is difficult for fans to relate to the owners and players who are fighting over millions of dollars. Most people will never have the opportunity to do such thing. However, it seems as if the owners are the villains in this lockout. Do they not understand what basketball means to its loyal fans? Do they not know that for some people, counting on watching their team play after a long day at work is the only thing they have to look forward to?
The joy basketball has brought me cannot compare to anything else in my life. The countless buzzer beaters I have watched, the anticipation of not knowing the outcome of a game, it is a rush unlike any other. Nothing makes me happier than watching the Lakers play on a Sunday in their white uniforms. I have grown up with this consistency in my life, and the fact that it can be taken away from me, and there is nothing I can do about it, is heartbreaking. I do not know what winter is like without basketball, and I do not care to learn.
David Stern has made it clear he will do what he can to salvage the season. The possibility of having a full season that simply starts later and runs further into summer, has not been ruled out. However, there is still a huge chance both sides will have to experience life without basketball for a few months before one side will become desperate enough to make a deal. The players say they refuse to accept a bad deal just to get back on the court quicker. While the players are the ones being locked out, the fans are the ones most hurt from this mess.
Cities like Sacramento, Utah, and Portland live for basketball. No other professional team exists in their area and taking away the chance to see the only one that does is just cruel. But whether the team is in a small market or not, the passion of an NBA fan runs deep. If games are missed this season there will be a little hole in every fans heart until they resume.
So please Derek Fisher, work your magic like you did in the 2004 playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs with your .04 shot. Be as convincing with your bargaining techniques as you are with your ability to take an offense foul, or even that time you were playing for the Utah Jazz during the 2007 playoffs. You entered the game at the end of the 3rd because you were ailing to your sick daughter, only to lead your team to an overtime victory. Four years later, and the memory of that emotional game still gives me the chills. We all want to see more of that beautiful magic starting Nov. 1, and no later.