Last night was scheduled to be the opening night for the National Basketball Association. As a child, I was much more into basketball than football. My brothers have always been die hard Laker fans in Los Angeles. Of course I was bit by the bug, and I grew up enamored with Showtime at the Great Western Forum. The only thing that sucked about being a Laker fan (or any team’s fan for that matter) back then was that there was no local television coverage of the home games. The radio was our refuge. Today, I can sit in my brother Steve’s living room in Ventura County and watch a Laker home game on cable. Unheard of twenty years ago.
Over the years, I have grown more distant from the NBA, but I still follow the league despite not watching games until the playoffs.
I was looking forward to start of the season this year, but since the summer the owners of the NBA franchises and the Player’s Union have failed to reach a labor agreement. Now there will not be pro basketball until December at the earliest.
The bottom line is that the typical fan is not going to care about pampered players and wealthy owners arguing over how to split up billions of dollars. It does not even matter that it was the owners who started this by locking the players out. I will not make in a lifetime what some of the mid-level players will make in one season; and they want me to pity their struggle? Yes, you get my point. So I must flip the dial as we wait for the two sides to make a deal, and roll the basketballs out on the court again.
So I sat home tonight watching PBS and reruns of wrestling on ESPN Classic. Of course I am just waiting until the weekend, when football will be back on.
Memo to the NBA Players and Owners: Football, and the National Football League are King in this country. The longer you stay off the court, and out of the public eye, the more irrelevant your sport will become. Good luck with all that!