For as long as I can remember, the NBA has provided me with a reason to look forward to winter, a season otherwise marred with monotony and the constant discomfort of frigid temperatures. Weekday nights at approximately 7:30 p.m., the voices of Mike Breen and Walt “Clyde” Frazier would emanate from the surround sound speakers. Watching Knicks games has been a tradition since grade school. The routine would be homework, dinner and then the game.
From the days of Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell to the current duo of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, Knicks basketball (whether winning or losing) has always been a source of comfort for me. Something that has been embedded into the fibers of my childhood is on the brink of halting operations for a year. That is something that I am not willing to accept.
As October approaches, the NBA’s players and owners have still not reached a labor agreement that would end the current lockout. In the midst of this labor stoppage, the NBA’s biggest and brightest stars have been keeping busy by playing in city exhibition leagues, but by this time of year, teams should be getting ready for training camp. However, this year is different.
Although talks indicate slight progress, the two sides are very far apart in terms of reaching an agreement and the season is in serious jeopardy. That being said, players are already thinking about taking their acts elsewhere. Dwyane Wade would not rule out playing a season in China. In addition, Deron Williams has already signed with the Turkish professional squad Beşiktaş and will remain with them until the NBA work stoppage ends.
From a fan’s perspective, the uncertainty of the NBA season is incredibly taxing. Not being able to watch my Knicks is particularly disheartening due to the fact that they are an up-and-coming team with both star-power and youthful role players. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement.
It actually makes me angry that the NBA is unable to get their act together. This will cause them to miss a whole season of revenue all because of the executive’s greed. Not only will the season be lost, but the loyalty of the casual fan maybe lost. The die-hard fans will remain, but the everyday may find something else to wet their sports palette during the NBA’s absence.
The NFL, who ended their lockout last month, had DeMaurice Smith (the head of the National Football League’s Player’s Association) speak at a recent NBA labor meeting to explain how impractical locking out is. Apparently Smith’s words have not fully resonated with the owners as the league continues to suspend operations.
If it is a shortened season, that would be better than nothing at this point. Basketball is a sport that I just cannot live without. Just the thought of not having a basketball season is very heartbreaking. Basically, a year without the NBA is torture.