During the summer, football fans had to endure months of lockout news, gossip, and negotiations to a nauseating point. As I write this editorial, basketball fans are going through the same situation.
As we all know, the NFL owners and players solved their problems in time for the 2011 NFL season. Unfortunately, the NBA has not.
For NBA fans, the outlook is much more bleak than we ever thought it could be. In the back of everyone’s minds there was this glimmer of hope, the thought that the NBA owners and players would resolve their issues in time for the start of the season. They just had to, so you figured a deal would be struck no matter how bad the situation was.
Boy, were we wrong or what? The NBA has already canceled a month of the season and at the time this editorial was written, closure isn’t really near.
Some point out the fact that canceling games and losing that revenue contradicts the entire basis of the lockout in the first place. Both sides want more money, yet they are willing to sacrifice their paychecks because of stubborn greediness between the two sides.
The NFL’s lockout situation was, essentially, something to pass the time in the off-season in comparison to the problem the NBA is facing. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the Oklahoma City Thunder’s very own Kevin Durant is playing flag football in Stillwater to pass the time. It’s November and KD is playing football, not basketball.
Luckily the college football season is in full swing to distract Oklahomans from the annoyance that is the NBA lockout.
Games are canceled and the entire season is in jeopardy, yet full-blown panic mode hasn’t engaged just yet. What about when the football season comes to a close and there aren’t any NBA games being played?
Die-hard basketball fans will still stick around and wait for any morsel of Thunder coverage. They aren’t the concern.
The questions arise when it comes to the “on-the-fringe” NBA fans. Fans who are football fans first, basketball fans second. At a time where the Thunder is in the middle of a fantastic era, this lockout could not come at a worse time.
The Thunder is still relatively new to Oklahoma and the absence of basketball may push fans away at a time when they were just getting pulled in.
The last thing the NBA needs is a full-fledged cancellation of the NBA season. Aside from the lost games and the lost revenue, the biggest casualty may be the fans lost in the crossfire.
Here’s to hoping the two sides can get rid of their stubborn ways, their egos, and their lack of urgency. Just get us some basketball. Please.
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