NBA Lockout 2: How U Boogaloo

Photo by Cheetah100 via Flickr

 Christmas Day will mark the beginning of this year’s NBA season after players and owners tentatively agreed on the Collective Bargaining Agreement early Saturday morning. The season will only be 66 games long.

Game on? NBA owners, players shake on deal

In the words of the incomparable Chick Hearn, the Lockout is “in the refrigerator: the door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the Jell-O’s jigglin’!” It should never have come to this, though; fans reveling that the NBA will start its season on Christmas Day. The lockout has truly lowered expectations during its 150-day run. Mercifully, that run is done and at least we get 66 games instead of 50 or 0… but not 82.

In any event, the Lockout certainly delivered its share of memorable moments besides its most exciting death. The battalion of bloggers, reporters and journalists who stayed up to the wee hours of several (but not enough) bargaining sessions. At least a sense of humor was brought along,  like Ken Berger’s cake imploring the two sides to share…

 

During the post-meeting press conferences, we discovered that Barons Davis has a woefully inadequate wardrobe for anything resembling a formal business function. Maurice Evans on the other hand was dressed sharply… but he kept bringing the same outfit to every conference while licking his lips like he still had Berger’s cake on his mind.

Inside the actual bargaining sessions, we were treated to Lockout Tall Tales including Dwyane Wade, in a Denzel Washington-like fashion no doubt (NSFW), telling David Stern to not treat him like a child. On second thought, maybe it was Kevin Garnett who truly went Training Day on owners,trying to intimidate them like they were a bunch of Marco Belinellis.

 

Painting by Graham McKean

The Captains of NBA Industry contributed their own unseemly chapters in this grotesque fable. Robert Sarver inexplicably needed to bring the mid-level exception home to his wife inside her designer handbag. MLEs aren’t something you pick up at TJ Maxx. However, I’m sure Sarver offered the retailer several draft picks before learning they don’t carry CBA clauses. Spurs owner Peter Holt (reportedly) invoked the spirit of Clubber Lang . The normally reserved Holt had us all scratching our heads with that one. Dan Gilbert on the other hand was disturbingly rubbing his belly, hopefully not with guava jelly. Imploring players to “trust his gut” in the midst of a contentious, acrimonious negotiation was a baffling. Then everyone sobered up and realized it was Dan Gilbert after all. The baffling then became run-of-the-mill.

David Stern, meanwhile, was going on tour like A Tribe Called Quest. He was here, there and everywhere warning of “enormous consequences” and doing his best to sully the reputation of the players that make his job and league possible. Adam Silver made himself rather undistinguished in his one day as substitute commissioner when Stern stayed home sick to watch the Price is the Right. Tentative hope vanished as that round of negotiations horrifically transmogrified like Michael Jackson in the Thriller video (or like Jackson progressively did in real life).

But of course, the most memorable moment from this sad affair was Roger Mason, Jr.’s inadvertent tweet that it was “looking like a season”. Punctuated with the now-world famous “how u”. Yesterday, Mason pulled that cat out of the bag once more… and hopefully  nevermore.

Good riddance, Lockout. You deserved to die and I hope you burn in hell.

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbB_HVcXpPk w=600 h=400]

Seth Carstens