By the end of this previous season, the NBA had fully recovered from their lockout which ended early in 1999. The league is packed with young stars and intriguing storylines. Unfortunately, the money hasn't been there to support the improvement on the basketball court. Franchises are losing money. Attendance remains sparse and inconsistent in many arenas. Mind boggling contracts continue to overpay players like Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis, and plenty of others. The system is without question in need of improvement.
Unfortunately that improvement looks like it is going to come at the expense of the 2011-2012 season. Maybe I am being an optimist but from every indication, we are going to have a full 2011-2012 NFL season. The league is too successful and there is too much for both sides to lose for that to be avoided. I don't think anybody would be surprised to see a deal ironed out in the next week or so. The reality for the NBA is much darker as most people seem ready to embrace a missed season or at minimum half of a missed season.
DeRon Williams has already carved out himself a nice Plan B by signing a contract to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout carries into the season, with other lesser players already doing the same thing. There is now chatter about Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemireresearching their options overseas. Personally, I think it is a bold, yet risky power move by the players to attempt to force the owners hand. No owner or league executive could like the thought of empty NBA arenas all over the country, while groups of their players are playing and being paid overseas.
In terms of the local teams, it would be a shame to see the Knicks have to wait even longer to have their two superstars develop the needed chemistry to compete in the Eastern Conference. Basketball was just getting back in Madison Square Garden and now it will have to go on hold. As for the Nets, they need the time to woo Williams into signing a long term extension with the team so they have somebody to build around in Brooklyn. They can't woo him if he is spending his days out in Istanbul.
It will be a shame to see a league which is truly becoming compelling on a nightly basis have their momentum halted by a prolonged lockout. Let's hope the neccessary changes can be resolved in the coming months and the reality of missed games is avoided.