Over the next few days, this Lockout is likely either going to end, or we are all going to die. OK fine, thatâ€™s over-dramatic. But if the players do indeed decertify, the NBA (at least as we know it) could cease to exist. On top of that, it could be years (yes, years plural) before we see professional basketball again. As such, this feels as an appropriate a time as any to determine the winners and the losers of the 2011 NBA Lockout.
Just kidding. There are only losers. Weâ€™ll go through those now.
Defense: So since thereâ€™s no NBA, but still a wealth of NBA players who, you know, like to play basketball, the Summer/Fall has been filled with charity and semi-pro-league games. These exhibitions generally serve as glorified highlight contests, or layup-line extravaganzas (the effort is eerily similar). So while we do get tons of alley oops and 40-footers, there is a complete and total lack of anything resembling defense. This would be fine except it turns out that crazy dunks and 60 point scoring performances become much less captivating when no oneâ€™s guarding you. I mean, yesterday I dropped 75 points and did a 360 dunk on my 5-foot Fisher-Price hoop while playing my 5 year old cousin. Whoâ€™s interested in the highlights? (Did I mention my cousin has a crazy, Biyombo like wingspan? Kid has got a real future.)
David Stern: I canâ€™t believe Iâ€™m about to say this, but I actually feel really bad for David Stern. His ridiculous ego and snarky attitude annoy me to no end but, I do believe heâ€™s very disappointed with how the negotiations have gone. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue surrounding the lockout has placed the blame squarely on Sternâ€™s shoulders. As the commissioner and face of this league, he certainly deserves his fair share of criticism, but it also should be recognized he’s had his hands tied by the hardline owners. While itâ€™s impossible to know for sure, it does feel as though Stern has done significant work in order to bring a viable proposal to the players. Does it still fall woefully short in many ways? Absolutely. But I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s entirely Sternâ€™s fault. Still, if this lockout does completely blow up and the players do decertify, no oneâ€™s legacy will take more of a hit than Sternâ€™s.
Michael Jordan: Michael Jordan is a d***. Yes, heâ€™s the greatest basketball player of all time. That doesnâ€™t mean we have to sit here and pretend heâ€™s a good person. He went through most of his career acting like a complete jerk and he continues to do the same as an owner. You donâ€™t believe me? Itâ€™s really simple math: Bitter, egotistical Hall of Fame speech + Hitler mustache + openly criticizing/ rallying against a system you helped create and profited greatly from = not being likable in any way. Boom, science. On a related note…
Jordan Brand: Look, Nick Young isnâ€™t wearing any of their shoes anymore, and if Nick Young is out on something, Iâ€™m out on it too. (Itâ€™s the same reason I havenâ€™t passed in ANY basketball game since 2009.)
Bloggers: If you havenâ€™t noticed, itâ€™s really hard to write about basketball when thereâ€™s no basketball being played. Iâ€™m writing a winners and losers column, for Godâ€™s sake.
The Fans:Â Thereâ€™s a lot to be upset about. We donâ€™t have basketball, and even if we do get it weâ€™re without J.R. Smith. Thereâ€™s the fact that while we are without a doubt an important part of professional basketball, we have absolutely no say in the negotiating process. Our interests havenâ€™t been represented, and thereâ€™s been little to no concern over some of the issues weâ€™d like to see fixed. Not only are we completely powerless but weâ€™re being reminded weâ€™re insignificant through the marring of this beautiful game that used to bring so much joy to all of our lives. Thatâ€™s depressing, thereâ€™s really no other word for it.
Rajon Rondo: Because itâ€™s clear the man hasÂ psychic abilities.
Hope: Thatâ€™s right, hope is dead. Barack Obama just shed a tear. Itâ€™s over, we had a good run, but thereâ€™s really no reason to have any kind of optimism anymore. During the summer we could at least talk ourselves into there being lots of time left, and other vaguely positive things. Nope, we shall do that no more. Iâ€™ve thrown away all my non-black clothing and deleted all upbeat music of any kind. I suggest you do the same.