Last year, before the 2010-2011 NBA season began, Rob Mahoney provided a backdrop for an incredible yearÂ on Voice On The FloorÂ — one far more compelling that we could have ever predicted. He listed the many wonders and spectacles we’d gawk at over the course of the season, and then he took a pause.
A jump-stop. A surge of momentum that in an instant is erased, creating a space just wide for doubt and bewilderment to creep in. It’s the maneuver Derrick Rose uses to set up impossible high-arcing floaters. But in this case, it wasn’t to create space for two points. It was an audible reenactment of what we witnessed between the momentous night of June 12, Game 6 of the NBA Finals, and the strike of midnight on July 1. The NBA had seen one of the most incredible playoff runs in NBA history and yet, in less than a month, the very existence of the best basketball league in the world was in question. Even Rose would have to admire how quickly Mahoney was able to summon devastation.
The sides of the aisle have reached a tentative agreement. An NBA season will in all likelihood happen on Christmas. If you weren’t there for the explosion on Twitter, I’m sorry. The emotion running through the flood of words and symbols was palpable. It was a celebration for a place we thought we had lost. A place — a world — unlike our own. A place that for the past four months had been ransacked by the ugliness of the real world.
To steal a line from my colleague, “But today, we escape.”
Amid the dust clouds lofting in the wreckage, the legal and financial guides and gurus we’ve leaned upon (for knowledge beyond what we’d care to digest) emerge once again as beat writers covering a beloved sport. Maybe things will never be the same for these writers. Surely eating mutant pizza and staring at wallsÂ will change a person. With the threat of a new legal war every six years, can these reporters just go back to writing about the game without the superfluous elements? Something tells me they can’t wait to find out.
I’m happy for one of my dearest friends who can return to some financial stability as a Staples Center worker. I’m happy for everyone who will be resuming employment due to the announcement. I’m happy for the rookies who will get to live out their dreams in the same year that they were drafted. I’m happy for the veterans who can continue to add to their achievements and legacies. Cynicism has run rampant for months now, but it won’t be too long before we can reclaim our innocence, our pure love for the game. I’m happy we have our escape back.Â For all of this, let us rejoice.
The season is near, everyone. Let the sunshine in.