Bulls vs Mavs to open the season, that’s not a bad game at all. LeBron James and the Miami Heat opening in New York against the Knicks. The Thunder, hoping to finally be the beasts of the West, opening against the Lakers, looking for the lost respect under Mike Brown. And we’re not even talking about the Christmas games. Like waving a chocolate in front of a fat kid and then taking it away before he reaches it, the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule while the distance between players and owners couldn’t be any bigger is a terrible idea. A bad joke, unintentional and not funny.
From the schedule, the Bulls are the team everyone wants to see next year. Or the NBA wants to showcase. They’re going to be on national TV 29 times. Oh right, maybe 0. If David Stern and Billy Hunter don’t start talking, it’ll be zero. I miss my Derrick Rose dose already, and I can’t be certain I’ll be getting any by the end of 2011. The NBA had so many great things going for it last season – the story lines, the villains, heroes, new stars, old timers finally winning and a feeling that it’s an open league with a lot of an appeal to a lot of different people. Money, as usual, is threatening to tear it all apart.
There’s a lot of talk about who benefits or loses from this lockout – Old teams, young teams, in prime players, teams with Under Construction signs on them. BS. The lockout doesn’t help anyone, and takes away the amazing momentum that was built during this year. LeBron James’ massive collapse in the finals and his need for redemption – no longer in terms of popularity, but to actually prove he’s not a choker. Was Derrick Rose an one time MVP, carried on a popularity surge more than actually deserving it by his basketball? Can the Celtics and Lakers, with Kobe Bryant under a new head coach, make one more push towards the final before the packages are opened and sold, bit by bit? The Thunder, the Grizzlies – young teams on the rise and potentially the best in the West.
Forget about all those questions – We’re not having a season from the looks of it. The dates might be set, the venues might be booked, but you can feel more and more assured that you’ll have more time to watch some NHL this winter or maybe even try and get into European Soccer while NBA players rest, play in Europe, get another job while using their college earned degrees (for the few who actually stayed for more than a year or two) or who knows what. I’m less and less optimistic about watching NBA in 2011. Things seem THAT bad.