By Dylan Malone
I had better switch sports this week and talk about my true passion…basketball. If you’re like me, you are just itching for the NBA players to suck it up and take the 50-50 split that the owners or offering or else wishing for the owners to bite the bullet and agree on any sort of hard-cap salary for teams (the NBA has the softest cap of any of the professional sports in America, which is why it’s referred to as the “yarmulke cap”). Or, God forbid, they compromise somewhere in the middle, like everyone else in a disagreement would.
Well, Monday the NBA players and owners will be getting together to discuss the dispute again, but this time they will have federal regulators there to witness and mediate. Sound familiar? It should. This is exactly the step that the NFL took just a few weeks before their lockout ended. Players rep Billy Hunter claims that the idea has just recently circulated to involve the federal authorities into the matter because they wanted the dispute to be settled “internally”. Yeah? Well I wanted the dispute to be settled “before” the season began. I guess we don’t always get what we want.
So sit tight fans, the NBA season should not be a total loss if the NFL proves to be an oracle of things to come. This just makes sense to me, I guess. Why wouldn’t the feds be involved from the get-go if the results were a positive one for football fans? And what about all of the people who have already been missing out on their jobs as vendors, security, and other employees because the players and owners want a few more millions?
We could be watching the Bulls/Mavericks game during the first week of the season…cancelled! Or the Heat/Lakers first meeting…cancelled! What’s coming next if the season gets pushed back further? Melo’s return to Denver…cancelled…if they don’t solve the issue by next Friday.
There are questions about this season that I can’t wait to be answered. There are some bets that I know I will be making if the season should still happen. There are some sleeper picks I want to make in fantasy basketball. And, probably the best reason of all, I really don’t want to see hockey dominate ESPN’s top 10 highlights every night. There are only so many ways a puck can sneak by a goalie.
I want to know what happens next! Will the Bulls take the next step? Can Rose take the Bulls all the way to the number one seed again or will he get some help this year from Deng, a healthy Noah, and company?
Will LeBron prove that he doesn’t have “tooscaredtoshoot-itis” in the fourth quarter? Will the Heat have enough space, especially with a new deal, to sign good enough pieces around the big three (if not they could just have another “big three” pep rally to earn money)?
Does Kobe have enough left in his career to see the Lakers back in the Finals for one last hurrah? Or will the triangle system fail under new coach Mike Brown? Will Bynum play more than 50 games? Will Ron Ar…Meta World Peace bring drama in L.A.?
More on NBA predictions next week if we get closer to having a season. Don’t hold your breath.