NBA Lockout...Does Anyone Really Care?

NBA Lockout...Does Anyone Really Care?

Seriously...a sport that plays second fiddle to football in almost every major market that no one has seemed to care that it's been locked out for over a hundred days and canceled portions of its season.

In Chicago I know the Bulls are pretty popular, especially with D-Rose being the MVP and a hometown kid, but still I haven't seen the uproar that people and the media had for the football lockout.

It's a sport that at it's height was bigger and better than football and hockey (especially in the Chicago championship years), both locally and globally.  You can't tell me that people living in distant countries didn't hang on every jumper from Michael Jordan or block from Hakeem Olajuwon or rebound from Karl Malone.

But in 2011, where economies are crashing and more people are out of work than in the last fifty years, it seems a bit trivial to be fighting over money for a game that both owners and players get paid way too much to be a part of.  Even the bench warmers make ten times what normal joes like you and me make, and they do it in half the year while flying around the United States playing a game they grew up loving.

I know the same goes for the football players that gripped about the same issues earlier in the year, but the big difference is that the football players realized that without the fans, there would be no million dollar paydays or signing bonuses.

With basketball, the longer they are locked out, the longer it will take to draw the fans back (or if they come back at all).

The one bright spot is how amazing Kevin Durant has been during the lockout...as I'm sure everyone has seen him make it rain in pickup games at Rucker Park in New York City, driven down to Oklahoma State (his alma mater) to play intramural flag football because he was bored on a Monday, or even coach a youth basketball camp.

Guy's sure been the MVP of life outside the NBA with his extra free time these days, but he's at least living it up and not worrying about dollar signs.

For once the NBA could learn a lesson from the NFL and realize that if they quibble too long, they might not have anyone to come back to...

 

Filed under: Basketball, Lockout, Money, NBA

Tags: Basketball, Lockout, Money, NBA

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  • Probably not. It probably is unfortunate that all sports radio has to cover from Tues. through Fri. are legal wranglings here and involving Sandusky, but I suppose that otherwise it would just be complaining about the Miami Heat.

    What this union is apparently forgetting is that what broke the log jam in the NFL talks was the court ruling that antitrust or not, the Norris LaGuardia Act prevented enjoining the lockout. So, as most commentators pointed out last night, the only effect is to prolong the start of the season, if any.

    But this will be about as much "who cares" as the last hockey work stoppage.

  • Matthew - I think the answer to your question is "no." I agreed with your premise in my post on ChicagoNow on October 18 titled "The NBA - Fantastic or Irrelevant?" (http://www.chicagonow.com/its-never-just-black-and-white/2011/10/the-nba-fantastic-or-irrelevant/) (I'm sure you didn't read it, not many people did.) The NFL is actually popular with a cross-section of America and the NBA is still a niche sport (albeit a pretty large niche). Anyway, good for Kevin Durant.

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