We are a few days away from the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day, and we still don’t have any NBA games on TNT, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or NBATV. The NBA owners and their players are in the middle of a lockout that has been going on long enough to cancel the regular start of the NBA season.
As of Nov. 12, the NBA’s commissioner David Stern said player agents were to blame for “trying to scuffle a new labor deal.” He said a revised proposal was offered to the National Basketball Players Association, offering a 72-game season starting Dec. 15.
Stern said, “We have made our revised proposal, and we aren’t planning to make another one.”
The NBPA turned down the proposal and filed a class-action antitrust lawsuits against the league Tuesday, eliminating any chance of seeing basketball before Dec. 15.
The NBA lockout is a frustrating circumstance for the people who love the professional sport of basketball and those people whose income depends on there being a regular season every year. With the NBA lockout affecting the regular scheduling of games, it has made its players, who were under cwontract before the NBA lockout, look overseas for playing time.
Ex-Denver Nugget, Wilson Chandler, signed a contract with the Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association. This move solidified no chance for Chandler to participate in the NBA season if it were to start sometime around January or February. Of course, we still don’t know if there will be an NBA season this year, or not.
Other NBA players that have already decided to play overseas include: Leandro Barbosa (Flamengo: Brazil), Nicolas Batum (Nancy: France), Boris Diaw (JSA Bordeaux Basket: France), Jordan Farmar (Maccabi Tel Aviv: Israel), Rudy Fernandez (Real Madrid: Spain), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Virtus Bologna: Italy) and Ronny Turiaf (Casale: Italy). A complete list can be found at nba.com.
Most NBA players have already had contract negotiations with international teams and have considered playing overseas if the NBA lockout continues long enough. NBA superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant have already said they’ve had talks with teams from China.
People around the NBA labor discussions hinted a week ago of a deal being done soon, but that still hasn’t went through. The NBA is losing out on what could have been a great year to watch basketball. There are many story lines that are not taking place because of the inability of the big guys upstairs can’t decide on who gets the cut of the multi-million, maybe even a multi-billion dollar, revenue the NBA makes each year.
Because of the NBA lockout, the fans will have to wait to see LeBron James and Dwayne Wade win their first NBA championship together. The NBA fans will have to wait to see if Dirk Nowitski can lead his Dallas Mavericks to another NBA Championship. We will have to wait to see what Kobe Bryant will look like without his former coach Phil Jackson. We’ll even have to wait to see the progression of Blake Griffin’s second season and the progression of other 2011 rookies, like Kyle Irving and Jared Sullinger.
Maybe you don’t miss the NBA season just yet because you’re enjoying the mid-point of the NFL regular season. And maybe Thanksgiving dinner goes better with mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey and throwing the pigskin around. But, you’ll be missing the NBA season when the Thanksgiving parade is the only thing on TV and there won’t be any NBA games to change the channel to and save you from boredom.
Let’s just hope the NBA doesn’t take away the Christmas day games either. If they do, college basketball will have to satisfy your basketball needs. One good thing about watching college basketball is that unpaid college students give it their all, and it feels better rooting for a guy who has an income lower than yours.