NBA lockout: Nobody won, now league must fight for attention

David Stern's league will start amid NFL playoff races. Not great timing. (AP photo)

David Stern's league will start during NFL playoff races. Not great timing. (AP photo)

The NBA lockout unofficially ended. Almost everybody was asleep. How’s that for irony?

The owners and players reached a tentative agreement on a new deal at about 3 a.m. So congratulations to both sides for proving once again that in all CBA talks, money generally trumps stupidity at some point.

Players lost paychecks. Owners, at least those who make money, lost revenue. The NBA, a winter league that’s constantly fighting for attention in the window between football and baseball, suffered an unnecessary shot to its image.

All of the ushers, peanut vendors, parking attendants and business owners near NBA arenas who lost a month’s worth of revenue are out of luck

Wasn’t that worth it?

It’s nonsensical to declare winners and losers. Everybody lost. Just leave it at that.

If the players approve the deal as expected, the league will resume play on Christmas. Teams will play a 66-game season. The Hawks were scheduled to play on Dec. 27 game at New Jersey on the original schedule but it’s not certain if that will hold as their opener.

Regardless, the Hawks — and most NBA teams not named the Lakers — will have struggle early to get attention. The first three weeks of the NBA season will coincide with the final two weeks of the NFL’s regular season and the first week of the playoffs.

With training camps expected to open Dec. 9, that leaves only 16 days for free agency and trades before the season opens. It will be chaotic.

And what of the Hawks? They’re like a franchise on Craigslist. A potential sale from the Atlanta Spirit to Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo fell through during this 149-day lockout. Unless a new buyer emerges, how seriously can we expect existing ownership to seek significant changes and improvements on the team?

The Hawks are coming off a pretty solid playoff run last season, eliminating nemesis Orlando in the first round and then losing to Chicago in six games in the second. The Hawks have some significant issues to resolve, such as the unrestricted free agency of Jamal Crawford and whether to pursue a trade involving Josh Smith, who grew tired of being the lightning rod for criticism last season.

The problem: With only 16 days to settle the the roster and ownership in flux,  major moves don’t appear likely. It’s not a good situation.

But there will be a season. It just may take a while before everybody notices.

By Jeff Schultz

104 comments Add your comment

Sid

November 26th, 2011
9:43 am

I’m a college roundball fan, could care less if we had the NBA at all.

juice sourcer

November 26th, 2011
9:50 am

Going to a Hawks game is just a huge rip off. And there is nothing quality about the experience…from the team, to the venue, to the horrible, overpriced food they serve. Will not be attending one single game this year.

GSUEagle

November 26th, 2011
9:54 am

Maybe Winnipeg wants an NBA team as well.

Shaun

November 26th, 2011
9:57 am

Oh we will notice .

JSS

November 26th, 2011
10:03 am

College basketball is nearly unwatchable @ Sid… Thank goodness, that the lockout is over… If I had to endure one more game of coaches over coaching in the final 3 minutes of each half my brain would seize. Oh yeah, players turning the ball over back and forth on the same possession, and 20-3 runs simply because coaches are trying to save timeouts for TV so they can overcoach some more from 10 points down in the last 3 minutes of a half is a bit too much…

gt4ever

November 26th, 2011
10:07 am

Nobody cares about the NBA. Period..

Mr. C

November 26th, 2011
10:07 am

@Juice Sourcer-

Man just shut up!!! Who cares if you will not be attending a single game this year.

Go kick rocks!!!

fanman

November 26th, 2011
10:10 am

Who cares? If there had never been another NBA game, most sports fans would have never missed a beat.

oldfart

November 26th, 2011
10:17 am

Damn, I thought both sides were going to prove to be as dumb as they appeared. I do feel good for the worker bees at Phillips though that is the only good thought I seem to be able to muster. Too bad they didn’t also agree to play the game as a sport in the future as opposed to exhibitions akin to the Globetrotters.

NBA Requiem

November 26th, 2011
10:18 am

The NBA and its players are just a mess. The league styles and markets its product to fit the tastes of one culturally edgy demographic, but prices that product as if it had an entirely different socio-economic customer base in mind. They have so marginalized themselves with their product and strategy that this fight over revenues seems about as senseless as would a fight between pro ice fishermen and their leaugue. And to make matters even worse, owners and players fight over ephemeral dollars as if they have no grounding in the economic realities facing everyone but them.

There is a certain cultural mythology that is essential to making a business success out of sport. The NBA and all of its actors are dangerously close to rupturing that myth bubble and ruining the appetite of paying sports consumers.

It is hard to feel sorry for the NBA – or maintain any real interest in their product. They seem oblivious to the fact that very,very few people really care any more about any of this. We are witnessing the beginning of the end for the NBA as we now know it. And, honestly, so what?

JSS

November 26th, 2011
10:19 am

By the way, this is directed at those who have been in the owners camp in these months making silly comments… Get ready for the reality of the 2 years and done player, there will be less player stability now. This will be like the mid 70s when teams like the Hawks were very bad, and they stayed that way… The only thing that is great is that real revenue sharing is coming among the owners. They can’t hide behind the lie anymore… Now you’lll see the NBAs versions of Mike Brown and the Smiths for just what they are, bad owners!!!

Joe Hill

November 26th, 2011
10:20 am

I don’t watch bb. It is a stupid game played by extra tall people.

C dog

November 26th, 2011
10:22 am

I always thought taco mac at philips arena was awesome…taco mac wings at a hawks game? can’t beat that

JSS

November 26th, 2011
10:28 am

@ Jeff Schultz…
The new CBA punishes a team like the Hawks for getting rid of a player like Josh. The real player that needs to be moved is Marvin… There’s no issue about Jamal, he’s gone if they have any sense… Start filling the new MLEs you get for both them…

Howard

November 26th, 2011
10:28 am

Who can stand to watch this NBA garbage anymore?? Besides folks who like basketball have the college game which is nothing more than a AAA minor league system for the pros. You also have a little thing called football…which trumps basketball any day of the week. Starting in early February would be better for NBA…at least they own the stage until MLB opens its season in early April. They can still run their playoffs until mid-June.

dtc

November 26th, 2011
10:29 am

Well, the good thing, I hope, is the players contracts will be prorated, and Joe Johnson’s contract just got reduced. Strange, but hopefully true.

~No FAN~

November 26th, 2011
10:31 am

he!! I was hoping the season never got off the ground.Now we got this crap for BB again.

Al

November 26th, 2011
10:33 am

ALL YOU ANNOYING LITTLE PEOPLE WHO WRITE ‘Who cares,’ or ‘I like college basketball,’ or ‘the NBA sucks…’ What the faaq are you reading the article for? Let alone commenting? Basketball fans don’t give a sheet about your comments any more that you care about NBA basketball or it’s so call ‘thugs.’ Comment somewhere else. You aren’t providing anything meaningful to the discussion and REAL FANS DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK! Get a life… or at least just go away.

Al

November 26th, 2011
10:34 am

ALL YOU ANNOYING LITTLE PEOPLE WHO WRITE ‘Who cares,’ or ‘I like college basketball,’ or ‘the NBA sucks…’ What the faaq are you reading the article for? Let alone commenting? Basketball fans don’t give a sheet about your comments any more that you care about NBA basketball or it’s so call ‘thugs.’ Comment somewhere else. You aren’t providing anything meaningful to the discussion and REAL FANS DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK! Get a life… or at least just go away.

College Fan

November 26th, 2011
10:35 am

@NBA Requiem…

Well said!!!

I was sorta hoping the NBA owners would get rid of the thugs and play players out of college
Who were talented, but not yet NBA Stars (Spoiled Brats).

But in the final analysis…WHO CARES!!!! Seems to be the consensus.

ant banks

November 26th, 2011
10:39 am

JEFF,

the hawks games used to come on the fox network on directv, which directv was supposed to drop. anyword on where we can catch hawks games now?

AP Fan

November 26th, 2011
10:42 am

‘juice sourcer’ is what I call an ‘AP Fan’ – they make one Annual Pilgrimmage to Philips Arena and they think that makes them an authority on the NBA and the NBA Experience – as woefully inadequate as the ASG is, they have improved the culinary experience substantially – Philips may be the best arena anywhere because it’s new, it’s connected to the CNN Center, there isn’t a bad seat in the house also if you know how to access the Gulch, parking is a breeze – the team is not perfect, but they’ve been to the playoffs each of the last several years and lost to the Bulls last year only because our starting point, Hinrich, was injured – AP Fans are a nuisance anyway and I hate when they plop down near me when they finally arrive at halftime

Jeff Schultz

November 26th, 2011
10:47 am

JSS — Marvin won’t be back. … Agreed, Jamal’s gone. He only needs to get a decent offer that Hawks can’t match. … Can’t speak to Josh’s contract/new CBA because honestly haven’t studied it closely. You might be right.

alltom1

November 26th, 2011
10:48 am

I think the winners and losers breakdown is a bit more complicated than the above columnist has described…

As for the people who take the time to write “they don’t care/never did care/stopped caring after MJ retired”, why do you do that? If you care more about college football, etc., fine. This is an NBA thread – take your talents elsewhere.

Jeff Schultz

November 26th, 2011
10:48 am

Ant Banks — Sorry, don’t know team’s TV plans.

JSS

November 26th, 2011
10:49 am

“I was sorta hoping the NBA owners would get rid of the thugs and play players out of college
Who were talented, but not yet NBA Stars (Spoiled Brats).”

What the?

The minute the owners locked out players, it became either will we or won’t we continue to have an NBA. There would never be a system like the silly comment that you posted… Yeah, go back to watching more of Tom Izzo and his ilk trying to figure out how to not play equally as talented mid-majors on places not their home floors…

NY Knicks Fan in ATL

November 26th, 2011
10:55 am

I’ll take 66 games, looking forward to Christmas Day starting the NBA season is the best present I could get, don’t care about football or baseball if the Yankees aren’t in it.

I’m truly a Knicks fan but the Hawks did great last year, looking forward to watching them too. But is Josh Smith still whining? Trade him to basketball oblivion then!

cowboy67

November 26th, 2011
11:05 am

U no if u dont like the NBA fine but people who come on the blog to rip it get a life. I dont go on your college recruiting blogs and say how stupid u sound going crazy over so and so from east bumble highschool is going to b a stud glad the NBA is back ca’t wait till Christmas Day

alltom1

November 26th, 2011
11:13 am

In re. the team’s ability to make major moves, I don’t think they need to…It’s largely a veteran group, and some of the key players might just be about ready to have their best years(not talking about JJ, tho). I absolutely think Crawford should be re-signed but the free agency period is going to be like a deck of cards you threw into the air and tried to catch one – total chaos. He might be gone..

Biggest upside comes from Teague, of course..If this guy plays like he did against Chicago, it’s a totally different deal..Teague/Hinrich vs. Bibby? It’s not even the same thing.

As constructed, the team can win 40 games this season.

Unfortunately, getting into the conference championship is not likely at all. At that level, you need a LeBron/Rose/etc. and we don’t have that.

cowboy67

November 26th, 2011
11:14 am

Jeff teams that always drew well n dead of winter Mavs Bulls Knicks Bos Chi Okc and of course Lakers will continue bad2mediocore teams like Atl wont till glamour teams come in

DawgNole

November 26th, 2011
11:22 am

ant banks, I don’t know whether or not the Hawks will be on FOX this season. I do know that the DirecTV-FOX dispute was settled several weeks ago, without the loss of any televised games, so that no longer is an issue.

Sam

November 26th, 2011
11:23 am

Amazing video of a high school senior from Columbia TN who kicks the ball dead straight 75-80 yards in the air. He was successful on 54 of 54 attempts this season….100%. Now he needs a college team. Wants to go to Georgia Tech

Watch for yourself…it is unreal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JKwgwFY3g

NBA Requiem

November 26th, 2011
11:24 am

Some posters resent the negative comments; they like the emperor’s new clothes just fine.

What they are missing is that a lot of the frustration is voiced by people who once were fans but have watched helplessly as the situation has deteriorated. We dislike most that which we once loved.

I used to pay for season tickets on the floor. But they stopped playing the game I went to see.

Really truly

November 26th, 2011
11:27 am

Let me just say that after due consideration and serious thought…I could not give one damn if they ever play again. When do the pitchers and catchers report? And what time did you say kick off is?

ant banks

November 26th, 2011
11:31 am

well, since 1980, there have been only 9 NBA champions…lakers, san antonio, dallas, houston, detroit, chicago, miami, boston, philly.

the commonality of these teams? amazing players, amazing coaches, amazing owners…so, there are about 20 teams that WON’T be in contention this year…the hawks are one of them.

GO HAWKS!!

Who Cares?

November 26th, 2011
11:32 am

NBA is for trash

Tim

November 26th, 2011
11:34 am

It’s good that we’ll have some NBA to watch this year. The Hawks, however, will be abysmal. The ownership problems will quickly take center stage. This team will be awful until we get some decent ownership.

JSS

November 26th, 2011
11:47 am

Nobody is missing the frustration of those who say they hate NBA… The problem is that you’re missing placing your venom. I used to like 70s POP music, but now I realize while it is entertaining, it doesn’t hold a candle to John Coltrane or Dave Brubeck. You just appreciate things for what they are… The game of MLB baseball was far more entertaining 35 years ago. Still, I understand what has evolved into a professional hitters game is what it is, no bunting, no defense, and too many relievers… But do I rip it every time I get on the blogs? Nope, it is about having perspective on the matter…

JSS

November 26th, 2011
11:48 am

“missing the point in placing your venom”

DawgNole

November 26th, 2011
11:51 am

Sam, give it a rest. Nobody cares about your shameless promotion of a fictitious high school kicker.

whatacrew

November 26th, 2011
11:59 am

WHO really cares about NBA basketball any more?? Except the same crowd that likes WCF or enjoy fights, The vast majority of today’s NBA players are spoiled rich thugs.

The Truth

November 26th, 2011
12:13 pm

NBA players would be selling dope, stealing or just hanging around in the slums if not for a game. Uneducated thugs who can dunk a basketball. Yawn.

Spud

November 26th, 2011
12:40 pm

I still like the Hawks, but simply my opinion that the NBA is not very interesting of late. NBA Requiem’s observations are spot on. I will not be surprised to see MLS move up behind the NFL and MLB as the third most popular sport in the U.S. Like soccer or not, MLS is very well run and has an ever increasing following. 65,000 fans turned out for a game in Seattle last month! The NBA should be taking notes.

Hillbilly D

November 26th, 2011
1:07 pm

JSS

Good point about perspective. I used to love basketball but that went away as the game became more about pushing and shoving, than playing with finesse. When I was coming up, there was traveling, 3 second violations and fouls. Who knows what a foul is anymore? But like you say, I don’t come on here and rail about it, I just don’t watch. Folks that want to watch and/or find that entertaining, more power to ‘em.

As to your baseball comment has evolved into a professional hitters game is what it is, no bunting, no defense, and too many relievers…, I agree with you entirely as to what the game has become. I tend to spend more time now watching Minor League ball, than MLB.

Wutehvah

November 26th, 2011
1:50 pm

Ridiculous… Hopefully the fans will stay home and they will lose money.

More Money!!

November 26th, 2011
2:22 pm

I can’t wait to get to Phillips Arena and pay even more money for tickets, parking, food and beer to see a mediocre team!!!! YES!! Jack up the prices even more!!! Those people need cash, ASAP!! Bentleys don’t come cheap!!!!!

tjhook

November 26th, 2011
2:23 pm

Willing to give NBA a chance but they need to remember they can be back on the ledge with poor performances. The Lebron saga is still viable if the Heat wins games again. And what to make of Orlando?!

Lou

November 26th, 2011
3:04 pm

I used to enjoy the NBA and went to quite a few Hawks games. No more, never! I can only hope there are others who feel the same, but I know 15,000 will be there the first weekend they play at home telling owners and players we are happy you are back, instead of saying no one missed you! I hope 4,000 are there a night. Whoever said maybe Winnipeg wants a team, send the Hawks, although I miss hockey tremendously. I never heard anyone say I sure miss the NBA.

Manny

November 26th, 2011
3:07 pm

Actually, I have been having a good time watching the NCAA games. I’m also happy that the NBA is coming back, too! I like watching professionals play the game.

But I have a question: Now that there’s certainty in the market, can someone get Alex bask on he phone? I think his biggest issue wasn’t the money, but investing in a market with so much uncertainty.

NERDS!!! 31-17!!!

November 26th, 2011
3:27 pm

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