Gary Bettman running the NBA?
Steve Nash has had one heck of a year. The Little-Canuck-that-Could is still hustling, and adding to his improbable MVP season. Last night, the 6'-3" guard went off for 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists in 42 minutes. Jason Terry couldn't stop him. Marquis Daniels couldn't stop him. Michael Finley couldn't stop him. Even former teammate Dirk Nowitzki couldn't stop him.
Nothing short of an NBA lockout can stop Steve Nash.
Oops. I spoke too soon.
You'd think that with all of the steroid talk, and that whole NHL season in the toilet, that the leadership of professional leagues and the players' associations would have figured out by now that not having games tends to hurt the fan base and the merchandising. We still don't know if hockey can recover. It took the once-in-a-century effort of Cal Ripken and a subsequent home run exhibition from Sosa and McGwire to being baseball back from the dead after a similar gaffe.
The NBA collective bargaining agreement runs through the end of June, and negotiations are off for now. I'd like to tell you that you could learn a lot about the art of spin from watching each side pin the blame on the other.
But you won't. Because the fans don't have any sympathy for the ultra-rich. They don't particularly care which group of rich men (owners vs. players and agents) has to bite the bullet. They aren't interested in hearing about how hard it is to raise a family on less than $9,000,000.
Lesson learned? Before you read your prepared statement, do a sound check from the front row to the cheap seats. You might be surprised to hear how hollow your words can echo when you've lost touch with your customers.