Saturday, November 5, 2011

From a pantomime to a farce

It has gone back and forth, and sometimes done nothing at all, for four months now and we're still no closer to an NBA season.

After the heroes and villains of September and October we've entered the slapstick farce of November. Everyone said it wouldn't get serious until the games were physically missed along with the salaries. But no one expected it to blow up like this.

Marquee names threatening to decertify the union, throwing not only the season into jeopardy, but the entire league. The question is how did we go from "tomorrow" to this in under a week?

The problem remains in the silence. When there is no news and no one is talking, publicly at least, then people get worried. The last week has been a case of let's see who breaks first; who picks up the phone and says sorry. We've all been there, whether it be with wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends or family. No one wants to look weak. However in real life, it's the one who does break who earns the plaudits. Unfortunately in real life $200m isn't at stake.

The big question is, much like in real life, "Is it all worth it?" Is it worth losing a season over? Is it worth destroying the reputation and goodwill that has been earned over the last 40 odd years? Do the players want to be known as the ones who ruined the league? Does David Stern want to be known as the last Commissioner of the NBA?

Surely the answer to all these is no. However, after the unbridled optimism of last week, the optimism around now is only that there will be an NBA at some point. And that is very sad indeed.

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