As the days fall off the calendar, the writing becomes more clear on the wall. Not only will there be no basketball on Christmas, there will be no basketball played in the 2011-2012 season, period. Sure, it is fun to see All-Star spectacles and traveling road shows featuring today’s current crop of NBA talent, but let’s face it. Barnstorming tours only worked in the early part of the 20th century to promote a league or player. Aside for the instant gratification of seeing the stars, this is in no way going to supplement a fan’s want and need for NBA level basketball.
A recent Yahoo report mentioned that 23 NBA teams stand to lose less money whilst locked out then if they play games. As a business, the owners have and will continue to dig their heels into the sand to wait for the best deal to fall into their laps.
The players have been willing to drop their revenue share from 57 all the way down to 53 percent to fall more in line with the owners needs. Now, 4 percentage points may not seem like a ton of money, but the swing would represent hundreds of millions that would flow into the owner’s pockets should they agree on a proposed six-year deal.
One of the biggest problems is that there is no unified front on half of the owners. You have the players represented as on body squaring off a against diverse ownership group that itself has different agendas making it difficult to strike a unified deal that is endorsed and more importantly, beneficial to all.
Until a major concession can be made, from either side, the possiblity of basketball being played this season is somewhat of a dream. With each passing day, the likelihood of having a season is greatly reduced.
As we have said before, with 1998 as the model, the absolute drop dead point, for there to be an NBA season, is the end of the year. A rushed 30-day training camp would likely get the players back on the court for an abbreviated 50-game tilt sometime in late January/early February.
As a Celtics fan, this possibility leaves us a little uneasy. The C’s have the star power to win some games, but they do not have the ability to play multiple games in short stretches.
The Celtics struggled in back-to-back situations last season and will do even worse with the likely back-to-back-to-back situations waiting for them should they play games this season.
Either way, this could be a long cold New England winter or it could be a jam packed wild ride with a ton of games played in a short span.