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Stray Bullets: The Joke's on Us

Months of scare tactics. Weeks of threats. Then, just days to resolve. I really feel like the NBA just wasted countless hours of my time during this whole lockout soap opera. All of the SportsCenter segments I watched about it, the stupid sports talk radio bits I listened to, propaganda articles I filtered through and read to find the real story. All a waste of my time. The facebook post, the tweets, the conversations. All a waste of my energy.

We're sitting back at ease. Our minds relaxed that there will be an NBA season. As if the possibility of a lost NBA season was ever real. Still, we played their game. We took our sides and fretted over the outcome. An outcome that sure seemed like it could have been made a long time ago. The NBA should have known it was coming to this and spared us the suspense. Instead, they put on the show. Waited until the players actually decertified, then negotiated in earnest. Making us wait as they wasted time swinging their stuff around. This was the deal it was always meant to be. They just had to grind it out until we got the point. The chickens don't run the coop.

Thanks, LeBron. You got a little too slick for the owners' tastes, so they had to prove to the public that they run the show. Point taken. A season that will be back just in time for Christmas. Oh...isn't that just perfect?

The NBA knows biz will resume exactly where it left off. Sure, they the fan boards light up with "spoiled" athlete complaints for a bit. Let ESPN's talking heads tell us "no one cares until Christmas" anyway. Then waited for the precise moment that basketball could resume with no real repercussions. They let it linger until the players had to save face and decertify. Okay,'s the deal. But only after they made sure to make sure the fans knew the players don't run the show. Instead of enjoying hoops, they had us choosing sides between them and millionaire athletes. Stupid us. They played us well.

Tell me, aren't you more excited for this season? Lakers nation is hungry again and Kobe's career is winding down. They made sure to tell us all summer. Those fans We aren't going anywhere. The Big Three's window is closing? A 66-game schedule is perfect for their aging knees. Boston fans can't miss their encore. Did you realize Chicago just got good again and has the reigning MVP? And New York is relevant? Just take a peek and you'll see those fans lined up at the doors. I haven't even got around to Dallas or Miami yet, but you catch my drift. This whole time, we're wondering what fans or momentum the NBA would lose, when they had us right where they wanted us. At attention while they undressed the players for all to see to make their product stronger.

Those casual fans that think they lost interest? They'll hop right back on the bandwagon soon. You'll see. This season will be too good and the NBA used that against us. The die-hards had to suffer to make the show for the casual fan. I feel so used.

  • But they're making it up to us. Just like the NFL's whirlwind of transactions once their lockout ended, we'll be so caught up refreshing our page, that we'll forget all about the lockout until it's time to backtrack on Phil Jackson's San Antonio "asterisk" comment.
  • Yes, that was me inferring that the Lakers will raise the banner #17, and when we do, Jim Buss will have Lakers "fans" turning on Phil faster than you can say "Triangle".
  • Ben R. did a great job examining the particulars of the new CBA. With the raising of the salary cap minimum, added amnesty clauses, and ability to waive players and "stretch" their salaries against the cap, I have a feeling the players won't feel much of a loss. We're still going to see dumb contracts given out.
  • In fact, I don't think the players lost too much at all (assuming the agents remain better at their jobs than most GM's). It's good that they'll be playing for contracts faster. That alone should make things more competitive. But owners are now given the right to "correct" mistakes by stretching out bad contracts? Meaning they can free up MORE money to give to someone else, while STILL having to pay the mistake. Why isn't this called the James Dolan rule?
  • But wait! Another team can claim such a player off waivers and pay part of that salary. (You prevent the big spenders (or contenders) like the Lakers, Knicks, and Mavs from gobbling up all the bought out free agents.) But would you pay for a player that doesn't want to play for you? Would you snatch up a bought-out veteran that preferred to play in Los Angeles and risk him "not working out?" I don't think so.
  • We all bashed David Stern during this process, and Bill Simmons yapped on and on about him sticking around too long, but we'll all wish he never left after we're stuck with Adam Silver. Dude seems bland as all hell.
  • Hey did you hear the Lakers are interested in CP3 and Dwight Howard? Of course they are. Dwight? He'll be here. Chris Paul is just doing the "every superstar has to be rumored to go to the Lakers" bit. I'm sure it was Chris Broussard who started this rumor.
  • During the Lockout, "Besitkas and player X" rumors became the new "sources say the Lakers are interested in..." I wonder if Chris Broussard is in Besitkas' employ?
  • I never want to hear about that team again. Nor some superstar-led exhibition tour.
  • If Baron Davis is a possibility, then I'm with Ben R. I'd have no problem with Iggy either if the trade ever did happen. Proud to say I was on that bus after the Playoffs. If it happens, of course. Not saying I want it to. Just stating I wouldn't be mad about it.
  • I can't wait to see what Ettore Messina's offense will look like with Mike Brown's D. Dobermamba, where you at? It'd be nice to see you for a full season. Bling, bling if so.
  • Luke, It's been real bro.
  • Steve Blake? Please don't replace Luke as our whipping boy.

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