Oh how lovely November is!
It’s now time to watch a new season of basketball, as the Dallas Mavericks raise their championship banner and look to repeat. It’s time to see if LeBron James can rally the Heat into another NBA Finals and give credit to his name. It’s time to see young promising teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls break into their primes. It’s time for basketball.
But what’s that you say? The NBA is still indefinitely locked out? The 2011-12 season itself is now actually being affected? Say it ain’t so!
It’s finally the day that no one wanted to see. The inevitable tragedy of November without professional basketball. Following one of the greatest seasons in NBA history and on the cusp of what should be another, the owners and the players are still in a stalemate over revenue sharing.
The lockout has dragged on and on, giving no hope to fans of the sport. Neither party has found common ground and neither side wishes to concede anything. Nobody at the negotiating table has worked with any regard for deadlines or urgency. Starting a new season seems not to matter to either side in the slightest.
Even getting to a temporary sort of basketball does not seem to matter to anyone. While trying to get something viable out on the floor, talks of a “World All-Star Classic Tour” sprung up. The exhibition series, which was to feature superstars like Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Tyson Chandler, would have included six games on four different continents. The idea was quickly shelved by the same disinterest with which the current NBA season is being treated.
This lockout is an absolute stalemate and the effects are finally starting to show.
It’s become ridiculous. Players are confused as they can’t earn a paycheck through the game they love. Owners have been completely banned from interacting with players. Arena employees and team workers wonder if they will have jobs. Worst of all, fans can’t see the sport they love.
Last night should have been a glorious night in Dallas Mavericks history. Fans should have been cheering as the Mavericks raised up a championship banner. Dirk and company were supposed to take on the Chicago Bulls in a season opener that could have served as a possible NBA Finals preview.
Instead, silence echoes within the American Airlines Center. There’s no ring ceremony, there’s no outstanding basketball play, there’s no Mark Cuban shouting in the front row.
This November was supposed to mark the beginning of a great NBA season. Instead, it just marks another month of a ridiculous lockout.
J.D. Moore is a sophomore journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also the host of the Fort Worth Four Sports Show on FM 88.7 The Choice.