The End has Come: The NBA Lockout of 2011

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Saturday, November 26, 2011 with No comments
   Well over 140 days of agony has come to an end, the seconds turned into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months and now today, we are finally at the end.  The new NBA season will begin on December 25th, Christmas Day and will support a 66 game season with the All Star game still intact for the city of Orlando in February.  Training camp and the beginning of Free Agency will begin on December 9th.  At the end of the last lockout where games were lost in 1999, the slogan changed from "We love this game" to "We still love this game" but the message this time has to be more clear, more precise, "We still love our fans".  That's the message that has to be sent out from the league and its player due to the damage that the lockout caused.  Recent history has shown us that the majority of fans will always blame the players for being "greedy" and causing lockouts due to misinformation and other sinister reasons but again the message needs to be heard loud and clear, battered into the minds of the many, "We still love our fans!"  

Perception will show that David Stern and the owners won the negotiations but reality will prove that there were no winners.  I challenge anyone who proclaims themselves
as a winner of this debacle to look in the eyes of the fans and claim victory or the arena workers.  Look into the eyes of the many front office staffers who were laid off and claim victory.  Do you have the fortitude to do so?  Once again, there were no winners but there were casualties on both sides and the millions of dollars that were lost during the lockout of 2011 will never be earned back.  Make no mistake about it, this was a power play by the owners of the NBA and even though some such as Micky Arison of the Miami Heat and James Dolan of the Knicks sided with the players, they were outnumbered.

Soon after we hear the balls bouncing, sneakers squeaking, and whistles blowing, the anger will disappear and the fans will return once more; David Stern will continue to be booed at every NBA function and Cleveland will still hate Lebron James.  We have our NBA again and what a season it will be, will Derrick Rose continue to play like an MVP?  Can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook take the next step and lead the OKC Thunder to the NBA Finals?  There's no doubt that the biggest story of the new season will be Dwight Howard and where will he decide to take his talents in the off season.  So many questions, too many answers, and so little time.

While you enjoy the current season just take a moment and realize the sacrifices that had to be made in order for the season to take place.  Ask yourselves, would you take close to a 40% pay cut without a fight?  Would you be upset if your boss gave you a raise only to retract it years later and if you were a member of a union wouldn't you have them fight for your rights?  Please take all of those situations into account before you call the players greedy or undeserving.  Sacrifices were made for all of us to enjoy the game that we love and that should be focused on, not the perceived negative feelings.  Enjoy the season but don't judge because after all the smoke has cleared, you'd do the same as the players of the NBA did if you were faced with their situation.  NBA basketball has returned and we all should rejoice for today is a great day for the fans!

Tentative NBA Agreement Press Conference