If everything goes as planned the NBA is set to begin the 2011-12 NBA Season on Christmas Day and will play a 66 game schedule.
The question I have to ask right now is “Does anyone care?"
In a year where we saw lockouts in the NFL and NBA fans and collectors are feeling ignored and dejected. Two groups of millionaires (owners and players) fighting over who gets to take more of our cash has really isolated them from the fans. Over the years the NHL and MLB saw serious dips following lengthy lockouts/strikes and while the NFL was fortunate enough to not see a loss in fan approval following the summer lockout the NBA will probably feel the wrath.
The NFL ended the lockout before the season started so all we lost was a couple of pre-season games, add in some interesting turns in the standings (who really expected Detroit and the 49ers to look good?) and some great rookie play and fans are willing to overlook the lockout.
The NBA on the other hand has been a nasty divorce story since Day 1 of the lockout, we have already lost ¼ of the season and we will probably see the same teams sitting atop the standings with Miami leading the way before flaming out in the playoffs. A couple of teams are going to be in a difficult situation because some players have decided to go overseas and signed deals without an opt-out clause or even worse, got hurt like the Nuggets J.R. Smith who hurt his knee while playing in China and Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko broke his nose and got a concussion during a game in the Russian League.