Let’s be honest, part of the reason why last season was so popular was because of the Heatles down in South Beach. With the Big 3 casual fans developed an interest in the NBA, and they tuned to games last season when in previous seasons they would rather just watch SportsCenter. People wanted to watch the NBA, and there was a growing popularity of the league around the world. It is tough to hear that all the momentum and progress the NBA made will be lost thanks to the big egos on both sides (not singling out anyone, but you know who are). The ratings for the league were out of the roof, and after the last lockout in 1998-99, the league was making a push as one of the top two institutions in the US.
So for all the owners and union members, this is a plea from a life long basketball player. I may be only be in high school and don’t have the greatest understanding of labor talks, but eliminating games just because you guys can’t sacrifice and don’t want to give the other side more money than you would like is distressing. You cannot afford to lose any more games, the league needs to continue on with its amazing run and amass more and more fans. The NBA cannot turn into the NHL; a loss of a season would be disastrous.
Being a long-time NBA fan, I will return to game no matter how long the lockout last for. The NBA has been my passion for years, and I will never abandon the league even if the entire 2011-12 season is gone. But I worry about the casual fans who will likely forget about the league if more games are cancelled. These fans were the catalysts for the NBA’s popularity last year, but I can assure you those same people will also lead to the collapse of the league.
Before you guys make your back to the negotiating table, have this in mind, are you ready to be the men who will be blamed for the downfall of the NBA?