Fans Are True Losers of NBA Lockout

Brandon JeffersonContributor IIOctober 3, 2011

Can David Stern and Billy Hunter End This?
Can David Stern and Billy Hunter End This?Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Ninety-five days…

That’s how long it has been since the NBA lockout officially began. On July 1, 2011 the NBA owners opted out of the previous collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and effectively created a work stoppage.

It is now Oct. 4, and today was supposed to be the official start of training camps. However, neither the owners nor the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) have been able to come to an agreement on a new CBA.

Without a CBA in place, there can be no basketball.

The players are willing to risk the loss of an entire season in order to get what they want out of negotiations.

The owners claim that the previous CBA was flawed and led to 17 of the 30 teams losing money at the end of the 2009-10 season.

With all the back and forth going on, there is one true loser in all of this: the fans.

The NBA has never been as popular as it was last season. Superstars are aplenty—Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant, to name a few. The big markets, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, all have great teams. Fans want to see more basketball; for now, they aren’t getting it.

I have been an NBA fan my whole life. I grew up watching Michael Jordan and was instantly hooked.

I remember rushing out of the car to go inside and watch Jordan’s “Final Shot” against the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.

Sitting in front of a television to watch games with my family and friends brought many debates and conversation.

To this day, my brother will try anything to prove that Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James.

My dad is a lifelong New York Knicks fan and had to suffer through a decade of mediocrity before the Knicks finally made the playoffs last season.

Basketball has been there my whole life, and without it, my life wouldn’t be the same.

What would I do on Thursday nights without the TNT doubleheaders?

Where would I go for colorful and insightful commentary from the likes of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson, Michael Wilbon, Stewart Scott, Jon Barry and other analyst?

I went on, and the sight that awaited me broke my heart. There is no mention of an upcoming season, no mention of all the great players; there’s nothing entertaining at all.

I am a proud NBA fan I will debate anyone who claims that their sport is better, but this lockout is killing one of the greatest fan bases around.

Without the fans, the NBA is nothing, and the momentum that it once had going is steadily declining with each day this lockout lasts.

If David Stern, the owners and the players knows what’s best for the league, they will end this lockout and end it now.

It is only doing harm; nobody wants to hear about billionaires and millionaires fighting over money. Get it together NBA, and quickly; otherwise, you will have lost the best part of the game: the fans.

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