The NBA lockout is now on its 21st day, and with no end in sight, I am very much worried about the health of the league.
Worried about the financial health of the league? Nope, that’s not the concern. Twelve dollar beers will cover any financial worries and $14 cafeteria burgers will always stretch out owner’s pockets and make them bigger and longer the urinal line at Staples Center.
Rather, I am very much worried about the actual health of the league…you know, the health of the players.
Here’s the deal: under the watchful eye of the team and with close supervision, players remained focused on improving their game.
With no practice, summer leagues and team facilities available in the coming months comes a great deal of free time during the lockout, shifting focus from PPG, REB, and ASS to DUIs, STDs, and ballooned BMIs. (On second thought, ASS is applicable in both cases).
For the first time in their lives, players will have to make life-altering choices. Do I take my talents to Turkey? Or do I order a deep-fried turkey sandwich? Do I keep my private chef? Or do I buy another Escalade. Last I checked, you couldn’t roll with 24s and Alpines on an almond-crusted chicken breast with zucchini.
Imagine what an already hefty Big Baby Davis will look like after the lockout. As an expert dietitian, I’d advise for him to follow the theme of his team, and eat some greens or else he’ll be joining the “Stanley Roberts Eat Your Way Out of the League” club. Also, lose the plates of nachos, and add two plates of 45s on each side.
What the lockout essentially means is that come next season, in a typical game, the carnivorous likes of Shawn Kemp, Clarence Weatherspoon, Vin Baker, Eddy Curry, Michael Sweetney, Oliver Miller, and Anthony Mason will be roaming the floor, chasing a basketball as if it were a ball of mashed potatoes dressed in gravy. Coincidentally, five of the seven players above are former New York Knicks, so I am sure Isaiah Thomas will find some line of work for them should the Gluton Bowl be cancelled this year.
Speaking of New York, who’ll ever forget Patrick Ewing, as the former President of the Player’s Association during the 1999 lockout, say, “Sure NBA players make a lot of money, but we spend a lot too.”
What Mr. Ewing was actually trying to say was, “Sure, we buy a lot of cars, but we sometimes drive them too.” Imagine how I would’ve felt as an eight year-old kid knowing all of this when I was buying his stupid Brittish Knights basketball shoes. Now that I think of it, it was the worst decision this side of sporting a flat top in the 90s in an orange outfit. Ewing’s curse that year would be losing another NBA Finals series to the Spurs in five games.
Kemp and Baker were never the perennial All-Stars they once were after the 1999 lockout. They came into the shortened season looking as if they were training for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest instead of basketball. Long forgotten was the bargaining table, all these guys were interested in was the dinner table.
By the end of his career, Kemp’s statistics off the floor were sadly better than the ones on it. He ending up fathering seven children from six different women (allegedly had even more kids from more women), and was once arrested with 60 grams of marijuana, in addition to cocaine and a semiautomatic, in 2005. One season after the lockout, his career was over in just three seasons, averaging six points and four rebounds off the bench with two hapless teams.
Continuing on the trend of being the Reign Man on your NBA parade, here is the parting shot from one NBA superstar, a physical specimen many have marveled.
“…At the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that….But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
Although this may very well be a disclaimer on all Burger King job applications, it was actually straight from the mouth of the self-proclaimed “King” of basketball, LeBron James, ending the season – and beginning the theme of this offseason – with a belly whopper.
Now, I am really hungry. Bring on the NFL.