2011 NBA Lockout: Fans’ Desire vs. Fans' Perspective

Do you still believe there will be an NBA season? The road seems to get bumpier for anyone with optimism in any 2011 games by or starting on Christmas. The split seems to be 50/50, not what the players and the owners  are agreeing upon, but the split is between the fans that still hold hope and those who have given up a long while ago.

When asking the question, “Do you think there will be an NBA season,” fans are torn between two different sentiments. The first is the desire to watch basketball.

If you ask a true fan whether or not there will be a season, their first response will undoubtedly be, “I hope so.” Who doesn’t? The 2010 NBA season was among one of the most popular in TV ratings, even more than that of Michael Jordan’s comeback, thanks to the emergence of the powerhouse in South Beach and the premature comeuppance of Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.

Last season was storyline heaven for writers and reporters. So asking anyone that question will bring out their desires and urges first.

Their perspective is the second sentiment. This is where you are privy to the telltale signs that show whether a person truly believes everyone will be able to enjoy an NBA season in 2011 or even in the beginning months of the year of 2012.

This is how you truly separate the optimists from the realists. I would have said pessimists, but the NBA’s decision to end mediations with no plans to reconvene just makes the thought of an NBA season being cancelled more tangible than a sudden sign of goodwill and agreement by both sides.

Some fans will say, “Well, the players do not want to see their entire season lost. They will come around sooner or later.”

The NBA players are ready and willing to go the distance, at least the men who are consistent in those meetings are. Dropping from 57% to 53% and then eventually to 52.5% shows a sign of good faith on their behalf. It can be predominantly speculated that this is as far as they are willing to swing in the owners’ direction.

More times than not, players have stepped to the forefront to relay to their yearning fans and seemingly hard-up owners that no one shall be moved. The NBPA will achieve a level of respect, or whatever they conceive as fair and just, by any means necessary. If that means scrapping a season, so be it.

Apologies to the fans, but there are bigger and longer term effects at stake.

Another fan may say, “The owners will cave. After seeing how stable the NBPA’s front is, they must realize that this is going to be a lose-lose situation if they continue to draw it out any longer.”

The problem with that is that the owners really do not seem to be that moved by how brick-like the NBPA’s wall of negotiation is. David Stern is heading in front of cameras threatening further game cancellations while owners are moving forward with other blossoming business ventures.

Yes, the players are highly-paid citizens of America. But, I think that in all the melee of the money that the owners reportedly lost last year, the fact that they are the ones managing these billion dollar brands has been lost. The owners are just as prepared and willing to go into the trenches for an extended period of time as the players.

In this lockout scenario, both sides know what is at risk and understood long before now what steps to take in order to stand on their own until their demands were allowed into conversation and met. Both are stubborn in their beliefs of what they deserve and neither is wavering much in their convictions.

Ready to give up? Ready to give in? Not close.

The fact of the matter is any argument heading in the direction of their actually being an NBA season can be shot down. Not only by the opinions of those who have been following it closely, but from the players’ mouths.

No player, with the exception of Washington Wizards C JaVale McGee, has mentioned or showed any signs of crumbling in light of the pressure from the NBA commissioner or the owners that they would be reinstated by and playing for.

The NBA lockout has become more complicated than an NFL franchise’s playbook, but one thing has remained consistent.

The fans’ desire for a 2011 season has not been scathed or tarnished. We want to see professional basketball played on American hardwood and we want to see it now.

The fans’ perspective, however, is a totally different matter.

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