Tuesday was the day that Mark Cuban was to raise a banner he has worked hard to bring to Dallas. It was the day Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd were to finally get NBA championship rings.
It was the day we got to see Derrick Rose in action. The day we gut to watch the Bulls smothering defense again. The day we got to see Kobe Bryant lace them up. The day we got to watch Kevin Durant do what he did all summer in a game that matters.
Tuesday was to be the NBA’s opening day.
Instead, tonight on TNT you can watch a “Bones” marathon, featuring the guy I still think of as Angel from “Buffy.”
We can say that the owners are greedy and to blame. We can say the players have it good and should take the deal they are offered and get back to getting rich playing a game. In reality, everyone deserves blame.
Well, except us fans, we didn’t deserve this. We’ve been loyal to the game, to the NBA. The fans turned out and watched in record numbers last season. Fans who tonight will do something that is not watch a “Bones” marathon.
What owners and players need to remember that we’ll do something else tonight. Eventually, fans — not the hard core, but the more casual sports fan that makes up the majority of the NBA fan base — will start to stick with that something else. The longer people are away from the NBA, the more they will realize they can live without it just fine, their money will be spent other place. They will see owners and players looking greedy in the middle of the worst recession in generations, and they will be disgusted. They will not come back all that fast.
And that pie the owners and players are fighting hard to divide will get a lot smaller.