The NBA's Traveshamockery

I saw the head of the NBA Players Association, Billy Hunter, on TV a few weeks ago. He was speaking words, I think. I heard him saying things like "unfair," "product" and something else before I convulsed and passed out. The NBA lockout is playing out much how South Park once described a presidential election: it’s a race between a douche and a turd sandwich.

For two years the NBA knew this was coming. Yet, why was late summer the first we heard of serious negotiations? Did David Stern just sit in his office and figure "Hey, this is the most compelling NBA season since MJ left! This lockout stuff will just work itself out!" It’s the only reason I can come up with. Because if lockouts are the nasty black eyes of commissioner resumes, Stern now has both eyes black and blue.

I won’t go into talks about revenue sharing, BRI, salary cap or luxury taxes because frankly, I don’t give a damn. The NBA is in this mess and the almost refusal to legitimately work itself out is terrifying. The owners and Stern played it out like a baby not wanting to share its favorite toy, plugging its ears and screaming to drown out the noise. By the time the owners gave in with their 50/50 split, the players then acted like the stuck up kid who refused to accept their Christmas present because they wanted the White Power Ranger and not the Green one. They fail to realize that this is probably the best it is going to get.

The kicker from the Hunter interview I watched was that he said it took the NBA five to six years to recover from the 1998-1999 lockout and the 2011 lockout will have similar effects. Wait. What?! So one of the leaders of one of the sides of the lockout readily admits that their league is going to tank for its immediate future so we can make sure Eddy Curry, Rashard Lewis, Joe Johnson and Gilbert Arenas can make more money than LeBron James? Great. This thing is doomed.

What’s worse than Hunter and Stern’s dick measuring contest is the fact that there aren’t any reasonable player reps outside of Derek Fisher to help the negotiations. The players seem more content with promoting their ridiculously stupid "LET US PLAY #STANDUNITED" Twitter campaign. So let me get this straight: a select few ultra-talented individuals who at minimum make over 400K a year are trying to sway a general public that is in a deep recession and job crisis to side with them so they can make a few extra bucks? Uh huh. Sounds great.

At least when the NFL went into the toilet this summer, the league had guys like Jeff Saturday, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady that at least represented the players with knowledge and integrity. Who can forget Saturday and Patriot’s owner Bob Kraft embracing after Kraft’s wife had just passed and the lockout had been lifted? Do you see any NBA player doing that with an owner? Or any owner willing to listen to the players? Nope. Instead you have a bunch of guys that only have a high school degree trying to break down college-level (and higher) economics. From someone who has taken college economics, I’ll just state it as plainly and blunt as possible: shit ain’t easy.

And here’s the caper for me: Kevin Garnett was part of the meetings at one point. Kevin. Freaking. Garnett. The guy who only picks on point guards as tall as my mom. I can only imagine how that session went.

David Stern: Alright players, we’re losing money. So, to make sure we get what we want, we’re going to cancel games and lose even more money, unless you take this deal.

Billy Hunter: Well, we’re united to not let you low ball us, David. We’re so united we brought some players to speak.

Stern: Alright go ahead, I’m going to be a celebrity judge on Dancing with the Stars in like three hours so make it quick.

Kevin Garnett: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Stern: Oh shit, it’s Kevin.

KG: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hunter: Holy Christ Kevin, we went over this. Go over the note cards we wrote out...

KG: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stern: Why are you yelling, you’re a foot from me?

KG: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stern: Kevin, do you really expect your senseless yelling to make us compromise on our position and give you a better deal?

KG: ANY THING IS POSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSIIIIBBBBBBLLLLLEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Stern: Christ, I’m getting some pizza.

The NBA lockout is denying my chance to see Derrick Rose take the next step. To see how LeBron James reacts to a summer of failure. How Dwight Howard makes the most of his potential last season in Orlando. To see how Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook evolve. To watch Rudy Gay rejoin an already loaded Memphis team. To watch Blake Griffin. And, of course, to see Dirk Nowitzki get handed a much deserved NBA championship ring.

I hate the owners. I hate the players. I hate this lockout. Get it done NBA.
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