The National Basketball Association, or the association as it is referred to on occasion, has canceled the first two weeks of the regular season for the 2011-12 season. This begs the question: Who cares?
Without having details of financial insight of all teams, let’s just say that even the New York Knicks claim to be losing money. Is that a symptom of poor management? Most likely. Is it a symptom of what has become a mere entertainment review at Madison Square Garden, and not so much the sport of basketball anymore? Probably. Remember, Madison Square Garden is historic, yet old, nostalgic, yet out-dated. When the NBA starts taking up the issue of worn out venues in places like Sacramento, Portland, and Milwaukee, they ARE talking about smaller markets that will find it difficult to prosper, but New York is a special porcelain doll.
Now, let’s take this info and look at the bigger picture.
If the NBA is going to survive in and of itself, it will most likely have to “cut the pork” and drop or relocate some of their franchises, at least in the U.S. Las Vegas does seem logical to me, but that’s a different fight for a different day. NBA commissioner David Stern has hinted at expanding globally for some time now. I would bet the house that Stern understands that he will not have the overall capital to expand into Europe or even China, with McDonald’s sponsors in toe, if he doesn’t fix the issues in the smaller markets with existing teams and very real problems.
So… Who does care? Is it the fan that was rooting for the Dallas Mavericks to overtake the Miami Heat in last year’s NBA Finals, only because they are trying to hold on to any hope that a team game still exists? Or is it the fan that pulls for Kobe Bryant and LeBron James to sprint down the court and dunk the ball, all the while taking not the allotted two steps, but basically palms the ball and hustles down the lane like Deion Sanders? I’m guessing the latter.
I’m not saying that certain things in the association aren’t entertaining. In fact as far as the sheer entertainment value for televised sports, the NBA is second to none. Just don’t go looking for a basketball game anytime soon, even after the lockout is lifted.