NBA Draft 2011: Impending Lockout to Cast a Pall on Tonight's Draft

Josh BurtonContributor IIIJune 23, 2011

Commish Stern
Commish SternMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

At Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center tonight, most of the interest will be centered on Duke's Kyrie Irving and Arizona's Derrick Williams, the two players widely believed to go No. 1 and 2 respectively in the draft festivities tonight.

But hanging in the back of every basketball fan's mind is the grim reality that the NBA will enter a lockout soon.

This is the worst case scenario for a league which is experiencing a major popularity surge currently and could stand to lose millions or even billions of dollars if no games are played in the near future.

The main scapegoat for this anger at the NBA, is of course commissioner David Stern. Stern will be sure to be booed loudly at tonight's draft.

Just like what is going on currently in the NFL lockout, the NBA's collective bargaining agreement will expire, and the league will be locked out and no games played. This could have potentially devastating effects on the league's currently precarious financial situation. 

Another negative for the league this draft is due to the widely known weak 2011 draft class. This is mostly from the American angle as there are many interesting and talented international players in this year's draft. This will do even less to take fan's minds off of the impending work stoppage.

No matter what order the players are drafted in this year's draft or who gets picked, most of the league will still continue to worry about the lockout and will in the meantime forget about all of the Mountain West and Eastern European players from this year's draft.