Some things are just too convenient to be coincidence. After playing hardball for the first 149 days of the NBA lockout both sides were able to pull off a miraculous, last minute agreement to save the season in time for Christmas.
Those that passively follow hoops will recognize Christmas morning as the moment they actually start to care about the NBA.
Those of us that live and breathe ball usually look forward to Christmas as the official NBA takeover.
No matter which side of the fence you’re on you have to acknowledge the Christmas deadline as the most urgent factor in ending the lockout. There can be no other explanation for why both sides were able to see eye-to-eye after being unwilling to budge on a multitude of issues.
We still have yet to learn all the specifics of the tentative agreement. Soon we’ll find out who caved and on what issues. As fans about all we care about is basketball.
Leave it to Commissioner Stern to find a way to keep his league afloat and perhaps come out of all of this with a better-than-ever product. The league was well aware that if Christmas came and went without NBA hoops that there was a good chance the product would be forever compromised.
By saving the season in time for Christmas the NBA can take the sports’ stage by storm as only the sport of basketball can in this country.
While I’d like to believe both sides were working towards a deal all along, it feels a little like they were given facts to reflect the harsh reality of what life would be like if there were no NBA until 2012.
But hey, whatever it takes.
I’ll endure the dramatics in order to get to what I wanted all along.
Some will argue that the NBA’s 66-game schedule and Christmas unveiling will be the way to do it from here out. Ignore those arguments as they will come from the same people that don’t check-in until the primetime television schedule tells them to.
Yes, the NBA has done well for itself. All things being considered there probably isn’t a better way to end this lockout and begin the season. After it is all said and done this lockout will do less harm than the last strike did as well. Missing nearly two months of hoops is unacceptable but jumping into the thick of the season is a nice way to make up for lost time.
However before there are any victory laps taken there are a few things that will have to get resolved. First the lawyers will have to get down and dirty as they draft the language of the new CBA. Then it will be up to both the players and owners to vote on the new deal. From there a narrow window for free agency will open just as camps begin.
It will be a whirlwind of activity in the coming weeks but this is what we’ve been waiting for.
Suddenly Christmas feels like Christmas all over again. Can’t wait!