So it doesn’t look like there will be an NBA season this year, leaving a void in the lives of basketball fans all over the world. But more is at stake than having to find something else to watch.
Not much has been said about the collateral damage that the NBA lockout will cause. So this Thursday’s Top will explain what many people have failed to realize about the lasting impact of this work stoppage.
5 – Basketball Wives will seem less outrageous
It’s commonly understood that “women be shoppin,’” but women who marry NBA players take it to another level. For the last few years, Basketball Wives—airing on VH1 (surprise, surprise)—has given viewers an all-access look at what happens when nutty ladies come into money and get rewarded with TV time whenever they lose their damn minds.
But in light of this recent NBA labor dispute, where millionaires are complaining that they aren’t rich enough, perhaps we should not be surprised at how bats___ mad these women are. Generally speaking, when people who suddenly have more money than the bottom 95% of the world, some psychological fallout should be expected.
So when you’re making snide comments about Basketball Wives, know that once NBA players are sitting at home for 6 months with nothing but a PS3 and a Twitter account, they’ll get to gossiping and backstabbing their friends, too.
4 – ESPN is about to go mixtape
Without a real NBA offseason, meaning no trades or signings, this summer’s basketball headlines have consisted mostly of reports about NBA players joining teams overseas. But this dearth of NBA coverage has also led to a surge of footage of NBA stars playing in lower-profile summer leagues.
Forwards Kevin Durant (scoring 66 in a game) and Michael Beasley (mushing a spectator [what a bozo]) have both been in the news recently for their performances in New York City league games. And ESPN posted a clip of Brandon Jennings pulling off the old ball-off-the-opponent’s-forehead trick in a summer league game. A few more clips like this and you may see the return of the And1 Mixtape Tour to the programming schedule. Reporters like Skip Bayless and Dana Jacobson have always wanted to say ‘Hot Sauce’ and ‘Spyda’ on a regular basis, anyway.
3 – The WNBA Might Actually Become Watchable
During its first 15 years of operation, the Women’s National Basketball Association has inspired millions of young women to embrace teamwork, leadership and fair play. Unfortunately, the league has struggled to stay financially viable every step of the way.
But fear not! The WNBA could solve its money woes with an influx of talent in the form of NBA players who are not above playing with women to earn about 40 grand for 3 months work. Sure, it’s no big time NBA salary, but it would probably be easier money than banging into guys who typically weigh more then 220 pounds. And for some NBA players, the transition wouldn’t even be difficult to pull off. Take Sasha Vujacic, for example. He already looks less manly than some WNBA players and he wouldn’t even have to change his name.
And y’all thought Juwanna Mann was an absurd concept. Who’s scoffing now?
2 – Alleged babymamas will exacerbate the unemployment problem
With pro basketball players earning nothing from the NBA, chances are that paternity suits against them will decrease significantly. And when these single mothers realize that they might have to actually work instead of suing a guy for money that he’s probably managed it poorly to begin with, the small number of jobs available will be even tougher to get…well…unless, of course, there is a market for Golddigger Consultants. Careful, though, ladies. You might have to answer to Tami & co. in that line of work.
1 – International basketball will continue to thrive for generations
This claim isn’t as trite as you think. Of course, international basketball continues to produce talent that has strengthened the NBA in recent years more than ever. But imagine what’s going to happen when top tier NBA players head overseas to live and play. In the US, they are superstars, but in Europe, they will be treated like royalty, with all of life’s pleasures at their disposal.
See where I’m going with this?
It’s not outlandish to think that a fair amount of NBA seeds will be planted across the Atlantic (literally-ish). And while players may not play an active role in the growth and development of their barely-English-speaking progeny, the pedigree will be more than enough to turn these illegitimate children into a new breed of international ballplayer. They will have all of the physical gifts of Americans bred to work without the bad American habits (like, ignoring the importance of fundamentals).
Just imagine how the 2031 NBA Draft would begin. Commissioner Bill Simmons steps up to the podium at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong with a look that says, ‘This beats the hell out of Newark,’ and says:
“With the first pick of the NBA Draft, the Las Vegas Bobcats select…René-Michel Bosh from France!”
The announcement would be followed up by an awkward man-hug between Chris and his estranged son. The hug lasts a little bit too long, even for a father and son who first met each other that day. Commissioner Simmons waits patiently, hoping that this video opportunity will erase the infamous Bosh collapse in the tunnel after Game 6 of the 2011 Finals, which has aired in every package about whether young Bosh has even an ounce of toughness.
In this struggling economy, the image of NBA players stands to lose the most the longer this lockout continues. The plain truth is that what could have once been a labor dispute with a racial subtext is now a battle of egos that does not play with American sports fans, not to mention the swath of Americans who have contempt for rich, young, black men in general.
Regardless of who is “right” in this conflict, the strides that Commissioner Stern has made to improve the reputation of his product will make it extremely difficult for his terms to seem unreasonable.
Interestingly enough, it’s almost as if Stern is playing the role of President Obama and the Players Association are the jackass Republican Congressmen who care about getting richer than they do about the economic realities that everyone needs to be more realistic about.
In the meantime, basketball fans will suffer, and no one knows for how long. But the longer the lockout continues, it increases the likelihood of a next-generation Big Three of “aRM” Bosh, Boris Wade, and ÜmLaüt James.