Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let the games [tentatively] begin

Somebody please pinch me. Is the 2011-12 NBA season actually going to happen? Yes but with slight hesitance. I disfavor the word "tentative" when used in big announcements because it sneaks in the certainty of being uncertain. Debbie Downer party of 1? Yes I'm right here.

NBA Commissioner David Stern did use the word tentative in his statement today saying this:

"We expect our labor relations committee to endorse this deal, this tentative agreement, and we expect our Board of Governors, at a meeting we will call after that, to endorse the deal.”

Again, words like "expect" and "tentative" do not lead to a definite conclusion. This is why I'm reserving my jumping the couch moment. Quite frankly, all fans should be reluctant to dust off their jerseys. Lets not be quick to forget the run-around we all got. Yes, no, maybe. I mean come on, anything that looked like forward progress only manifested into backward movement. Today's announcement is definitely the biggest positive yet but lets be reminded that it can easily lead to another familiar diversion.

I'm just saying, while many fans are jumping up and down like they just won a car on Oprah, I remain cautiously smiling. Here's another reason for my back being against the wall at tonight's dance.

NBPA President Derek Fisher said this [unenthusiastically]:

“For myself, it’s great to be a part of this particular moment, in terms of giving our fans what it is that they so badly wanted and want to see”

There's really not much to dissect in his words and body language. He said it perfectly and with no expression, "...giving our fans what it is they so badly wanted...", insinuating that the players huddled around and agreed to just disagree for the fans. Whether this reflects on their individual performances, time will tell. I really hope the players know in their hearts that this is truly the right thing to do, not just for the fans but more importantly for the game. Pioneers have paved the way for today's generation of athletes and the unbelievable talent they bring to the court. Lets not put a blockade.

I will never question Fisher's heart or work ethic, I'm just a little concerned that some players might have felt forced in accepting unwavering terms and conditions in efforts to save the season. This may produce a shortened mediocre NBA season where amazing might not happen.

The loss of 16 regular-season games and the preseason cost the owners and players an estimated $400 million each. If there wasn't a bigger reason to endorse the new CBA quickly to make things less tentative I don't know what is.

If/when the season officially starts we can expect training camp to start December 9th. followed with a free agency that will make Black Friday look like a peaceful walk in the park. The season is scheduled to begin on Christmas day.

NBA Lockout Chronology
  • July 1, 2011: The lockout begins.
  • September 23, 2011: The NBA canceled training camp, which was to begin.
  • October 3, and the first week of preseason games, which were to run October 9 through 15.
  • October 4, 2011: The NBA canceled the remainder of the preseason.
  • October 10, 2011: The first two weeks of the regular season canceled.
  • October 28, 2011: All games through November 30 canceled.
  • November 14, 2011: The NBPA dissolves labor union into a trade association.
  • November 15, 2011: The NBA canceled all games through.
  • December 15. Players filed antitrust lawsuits against the NBA in California and Minnesota federal courts.
  • November 26, 2011: The NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement to end the lock 
Sources: New York Times, Wikipedia

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