Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Lonely NBA Fan
And so it begins. You might be surprised to hear that the NBA has been in the midst of a lockout all summer, but after another Monday of useless discussions, David Stern has officially cancelled the first 2 weeks of the season. Unlike with the NFL,no tears will be shed for a potential lost NBA season, in fact I don't think anyone really cares at all right now. Maybe this will change a little when the baseball playoffs are done (although most people will probably care little for the Cardinals Rangers Series anyway) and the NFL and College Football have run their course. So maybe next Spring someone will care about the missing NBA. But then, pitchers and catchers will report and March Madness gets going. So yeah, nobody cares about the NBA cancelling games. Except me and like a few thousand other dudes and probably Bill Simmons. The loneliest sports fans alive. We are the 1%.
The NFL is now officially America's sport. You could infer that just from the round the clock coverage of the NFL lockout during the summer months that consisted mainly of Roger Goodell and various players walking around Midtown in suits. Contrast that with the NBA's lockout that has been getting the last 2 minutes of Sportscenter right after the professional lacrosse and Premiere League Soccer highlights. Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter mutter something on their way to their Escalades about no progress being made again, we're not going to budge, blah blah and that's it. Chris Berman and NFL Game day come on and all is right with the world. Except for the handful of die hard NBA fans like myself who spend their hard earned money on League pass so they can watch December games between the Hornets and the Raptors. It's not too late to learn the Ice Hockey rules, I guess. The NBA is the Khloe Kardashians of the sports fan world (using an analogy that all NBA players should be very familiar with); it gets to hang around with the other more popular and attractive sports, maybe are good for a laugh or two when the others are busy but nobody will miss it when it's not around, and it is uninteresting to everyone but black men in their 20s and thirties(keeping up with this analogy, Kim is of course the NFL and Courtney is the baseball playoffs). It's tough being an NBA fan. We're not going to have protests in the street, the majority of us will probably just sit at home and play NBA 2k12 instead, unlocking past Jordan classic games or simulating an actual NBA season.
As I've mentioned before the biggest problem for David Stern (and one that the NFL didn't have to worry about with it's work stoppage) is the potential loss of fans. The league was in a free fall financially to begin with, the majority of teams playing before disinterested half empty arenas, and this could be the final straw for those others who are on the fence. Millionaires arguing over percentages of profits won't endear themselves to the ordinary fan any more than corn rows and long white t's on the bench did. Except for us, the 1%, the hoops obsessed idiots who watch Hardwood Classics on NBA TV even though they know the outcome or sit through MSG's "March to the Finals" nonsense replays of the 94 Knicks season just to get their jones fixed. Nobody will be crying any tears for us or the extraordinarily wealthy owners and players. So what exactly is icing anyway?