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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wordsmiths take it to the hole

With all the fireworks in college football this evening, and the World Series still going on in the background, it's hard to care much at this point about the loss of part or all of the upcoming pro basketball season. But when the baseball players and most of the student athletes have hung up their cleats -- about six weeks from now -- some weeknight we'll finally notice something missing.

While the pro basketball players and owners sit at home pouting, it's been interesting watching the pro basketball writers, who of course continue to pour out their punditry. There's no unanimity in that group. Our friend Dwight Jaynes, for example, has adopted a strict doctrinaire line: that the players should have accepted the owners' first offer, and every offer the owners have made since then. Meanwhile, New Jersey hoops writer Adrian Wojnarowski ripped into Blazers owner Paul Allen yesterday, reporting that Allen's tired of owning the Blazers and is looking to sell the team in the near future. Adrian, who we sense is not well liked by his peers, is taking a more pro-player slant on the labor strife.

Given the current standoff, and with the NBA season in jeopardy, maybe it's time to get a scorecard of pro hoops reporters together. Their jousting may be the only action we see this coming year.

Comments (10)

I'm amazed that the player's union is so poltically tone-deaf. Do they think they will garner much sympathy if the season is cancelled in *this* economy?

Maybe Occupy Portland ought to sit in at the Blazers front office. Billionaires squabbling with millionaires over a few percentage points, that makes a lot of sense...

I don't think the owners want to have a season. They figure the players will take a much skinnier deal if they lose a whole year's pay.

Some season ticket holders I know say they'd welcome a year off from paying through the nose.

Both sides are foolishly inviting the public to discover how little they'll miss the NBA. As I say, I wouldn't even notice until December at the earliest. There's always college basketball, and when that ends there's baseball.

There are several prominent pro hoops players whom I wouldn't care if I never saw play again.

Given most of their lifestyles, you are undoubtably right Jack. But you would think they would take notice of what the last baseball stike did to attendence. Really kind of the "Nuclear Option" of labor relations...

I never followed baseball the same way again after the strike. Something broke - the emotional continuity. And I've heard other people say that too.

Of course, that was different. Although I'm a bigger fan of basketball than baseball, baseball had a special mystical place in my heart so I connected with it differently than the NBA.
Playing baseball was tied in more with being a kid. Once the bond was broken, I couldn't get it back.

This NBA lockout is really going to hurt though. Basketball in Portland, when the highs get to around 45, and it's raining for weeks, is the perfect time to escape with some Blazer hoops.

Darn. You know the crazy part? This last Dallas run to the championship was one of the best playoffs in many years. I think the NBA was coming off a real high.

Oh well, every NCAA tournament, I see a team that's great and wonder why I didn't follow them all season. This is the season to change that.

If this ends with Paul Allen selling the team and out of our collective lives, it will be well worth it.

Like the government failure to agree on a budget. After a while you just get sick about hearing of their inability to find compromise. We needed a budget I guess, but we don't need basketball.

Go Blazers! No, really Blazers, just go.

Dwight claims he's not being pro-owner or anti-player, but rather that the owners have all the leverage, the players have none, and in the end the owners are going to win so the players may as well concede to them now --sooner rather than later-- and minimize their losses.

I'm not convinced the players have no leverage.

It's hard to feel sorry for either side of the dispute, but what it seems to boil down to is players want as much as they can get (who doesn't?), and billionaire owners want protection from each other not to acquiesce to those player wants.

What the NBA needs is outside competition, and of the three major sports (I'm not counting hockey), it seems the most likely to get it. Basketball is a hugely international game nowadays. An international league with the star players in it would be even more fun than the NBA in my opinion.


I'm with Jack. I wouldn't notice.

Which one is the basketball, anyways?

The funny shaped one that has a weird bounce?

The little hard one?

I prefer the medium white one cause the players have bikinis on the beach in hot sand.

I see Mark Mason's name on this blog every now and then. You've got to remember it's not just the team that loses work.

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