Found November 14, 2011 on NBA 24/7 365:
83521662

First of all, let me discuss Rajon Rondo; his lack of swag, to be more specific.  You can spot him to Derek Fisher’s left standing next to fellow overrated point guard Russell Westbrook.  Let’s take a closer look…

Firstly, those glasses… c’mon son.  Kobe’s wearing sunglasses inside and doesn’t look half as lame.  Those damn things look like they belong to one of the officers from Reno 911.  Secondly, your shirt resembles the table cloth at a pizza place.  Thirdly, you are simply exhibiting an extreme lack of all-around swag.  I suppose this may be taken as a compliment in the fall of 2011, but you look like a nerd.

Official –Swag-O-Meter– Rating:

2/5

I’m not noticing any other blatant sins against swag, so I’ll get right down to business…

Although David Stern hasn’t canceled any further games yet, let alone the whole shabangabang, I think it’s safe to say that the 2011/12 season is in pretty serious jeopardy.  The players have elected to decline the owners’ latest offer, putting an end to negotiations.  The next step will be a court case as the players will file an anti trust lawsuit against the NBA… or something like that.  I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m an expert on this mess, because I’m not.  All I can tell you is that legal battles typically take time.  Time… it’s running out real f@ckin’ fast.

The 1999 NBA lockout wrapped up on the 20th of January.  It resulted in a 50-game season without an All-Star game.  Today is the 14th of November.  Commissioner David Stern has stated multiple times that the season will not begin until 30 days after an agreement is finalized.  If the players had accepted the owners’ deal today then the season would’ve started on December 15th.

At this point you may as well consider the three-game Christmas day lineup canceled.  If there isn’t a deal in place pretty soon–like within a month and a half, maybe–then you can forget about professional basketball on this continent until next fall.

Assuming that this predicament remains unresolved until it’s simply too late to salvage the season, the losses will be permanent.  Aside from the arena workers and parking attendants who are out of a job, the two groups for whom I feel the worst are the fans, and the players who haven’t really had a voice in all of this.  I feel for the fans because they miss out on a full year of their favorite player or team.  I feel bad for the low-key players because they’re forced to forfeit a year of paychecks.  Yes, even low-level NBA players make a very nice yearly salary, but their window for earning that kind of money is extremely limited.  The average NBA career doesn’t last 10 seasons.  As a matter of fact, it lasts less than five.  So, I’m sure the Players Association’s decision to decline the owners’ latest offer doesn’t represent the preference of a lot of its members.  Hell, I wonder if it even represents the preference of the majority of its members.

Thinking about it like that almost makes me, as hardcore an NBA fan as you will ever find, guilty for fretting over the potential loss of a season.  Although this lockout will certainly effect the growth of my blog, I can’t say that I’ve lost my day job or that I’m missing out on any substantial amount of money.  That would really suck… but losing the following forever sucks pretty bad too.

Blake Griffin’s sophomore season


While Griffin probably won’t reach the prime of his career for three or four more years, he’s most definitely in his athletic prime right now.  If the season is lost we won’t see Blake again until about six months before his 24th birthday.  As a basketball player, he’ll still have his best years ahead of him.  As an athlete, he’ll have lost one of his finest.  The same goes for his teammates DeAndre Jordan (hoping he’ll re-sign) and Eric Gordon.  There’s no substitute for the excitement that youth injects into a basketball team… not even winning, as crazy as that may sound.  As of right now, the sky’s the limit for my favorite trio in the league.  A season is missed?  They’re all in their mid-20s and it’s time to show and prove right damn now.  What fans will have missed is a relatively care-free season of slam dunking and eternal optimism.

What may be Kobe’s last shot at number six

Love him or hate him, he’s one of the best to ever lace ‘em up… but he’s 33 years old, and father time spares nobody.  It’s my opinion that the Dallas Mavericks slammed LA’s window shut by sweeping them in last season’s semifinals, but I’m sure many would disagree with me.  What I think we can all agree on is that we’d like to watch Kobe, Mike Brown and company prove me right or wrong.  Looks like we might be stuck arguing about what might have happened instead.  If the season is canceled, Kobe loses one of his final seasons as an elite player and returns for the 2012/13 campaign at the age of 34.

Dallas’s chance to repeat


This isn’t meant to be a knock on the Mavs, but I have my doubts anyway.  I mean, Jason Kidd is 38.  Jason Terry is 34.  Tyson Chandler’s overrated ass is a free agent.  Dirk Nowitzki had one of the most incredible individual postseason runs of all-time, and the Miami Heat straight up folded.  For them to do it again in ’11/12 would be… well… I guess I said they couldn’t do it the first time either.  For them to wait a season and try to repeat, though?  It ain’t happening.  In addition to massively-damaged chances of a repeat, Dirk misses out on a season that could potentially be one of his finest.  I figure his confidence must be sky-high after single-handedly dismantling most of the NBA’s upper echelon teams on his way to becoming a champion.  He’s getting up there, though; he’ll be 34 by the time the ’12/13 season rolls around

A season of LeBron/Wade/Bosh in Miami

This is similar to the Kobe situation.  The Heat are polarizing; you probably love them or hate them… but assuming you have any ability to objectively analyze the game then you can recognize the significance of what we’d be missing here.  It’s not often that you can argue that the league’s top two players suit up for the same damn team.  Throw in a perennial All-Star for a third option and you’ve got one of the most interesting teams ever to collectively step foot on an NBA floor.  How many titles will they be able to gather?  You can automatically knock your guess down by one if the 2011/12 season is lost.  Oh yeah, this may strike you as a bit of a surprise, but D-Wade will be 30 at the start of the 2012/13 season.  Time flies.

I repeat, time flies.  That pretty much sums it up from a fan’s point of view.  The NBA’s clock ticks even faster than the one on the living room wall due to the fact that athletes have such a limited time frame to capitalize on their incredible physical gifts.  It’s a damn shame to speed it up even more.

A damn shame.  That’s what this decision is to arena workers, minimum-contract players, aging superstars, and fans.

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