Christmas hopes of candy canes and tinsel are still intact, but basketball fans are left with the sad reality that the NBA will not be part of the holiday season. No LeBron dunks, Kobe closing heroics, nor the first impressions of rookies Jimmer Fredette or Enes Kanter in an NBA uniform.
The league took a drastic step back in what many thought were semi-fruitful negotiations to figure out the loose ends of the NBA structure, dealing with money and a salary cap. Instead, fans all left to decide whether they want to follow college hoops or not, and without Jimmer Fredette, local flair has fizzled.
NBA commissioner David Stern stated to ESPN.com that “there is a nuclear winter coming.”
The negotiations went on for months between the NBA owners and the players union, which is comprised of 30 players who represent the 450 or so NBA players in the league. The owners put a “take it or leave it” proposal on the table last week, and the players simply left it.
The players union will now be decertified, and no one will be representing the players anymore.
Instead of things being decided “on” the court, matters will be decided “in” court.
Not even the greatest of sports prophets can predict how long it will take to resolve these issues. A mess, a total and complete mess, is more than an understatement.
“They (the players) seem hell-bent on self-destruction,” Stern told ESPN.com.
The players are deciding to file anti-trust lawsuits against the NBA in hopes to get their way. These last few months there seemed to be inched progress into getting closer to inking a deal to get the players and fans back in the arenas, but instead all fans in Utah will see is dust settling on the jumbotron in Energy Solutions arena and NBA arenas nationwide, keeping them silent and utterly alone.
Not only are the players threatened by no paychecks, but vendors and workers in the arenas are put on hold.
The world all stares, waiting for something to be done to restore NBA passion, but not even Santa Clause can wrap this gift. Sad countenances and un-cheerful hearts wane in this, the NBA’s “nuclear winter.”
By JOSH CANN