On Monday October 10th 2011, after hours of tireless labor meetings, NBA commissioner David Stern unveiled the unfortunate news that the first two weeks of NBA regular season games have already been canceled.
Although this decision was expected by most since preseason games had already been canceled, many NBA fans and employees were still heartbroken by the news. This time of year is usually intended for evaluating rosters and building enthusiasm towards the upcoming season but this year the only question being asked is, will we have a season at all?
In New York the mood is a somber one as fans around the city are preparing for life without basketball. Whether its the Knicks or St Johns, winter time in New York is always filled with great basketball action, however this year the Knicks will not be taking the Garden floor anytime soon. The timing of this lockout could not be worse simply because the Knicks are finally relevant for the first time in almost a decade and their starving fan base was excited for the season.
Not only will this lockout effect the diehard and well-paying Knick fans, but the people who will suffer most will be the Madison Square Garden employees and those that depend on NBA games to make living such as ticket sellers and street venders.
“It will definitely hurt our industry,” said Anthony DeMarco, a 31-year-old employee for Stubhub.com. “ When your business depends on the buying and selling of tickets, missing games can be devastating to your profit,” said DeMarco.
The lockout is going to cause problems for many people behind the scenes of the NBA , something that the players and the owners do not seem to concerned about. While the fans will suffer due to lack of basketball, others will suffer due to lack of income.
“The working class people are set to lose the most from this lockout,” said Patrick Donovan a 27-year-old Lawyer and life long NBA fan. “While the extremely wealthy owners negotiate with the disgustingly rich players, most of the employees of the NBA are common workers who are greatly dependent on their jobs,” said Donovan.
Donovan is emphasizing the point that the NBA lockout is negatively affecting many of the working class people who are involved with the day-to-day operations of the league.
The NBA lockout is particularly damaging to a city like to New York simply because New York City has always been considered the “Mecca” of Basketball. Fans of the NBA across the country will be heartbroken but New York fans might feel it worse as the Knicks who had been greatly disappointing over the past few years were finally ready to make a return to relevance.
In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, November 26th, after 15 hours of negotiations the NBA lockout finally came to an end. Groups of NBA players and owners argued deep into the night and in a last ditch effort to save the season, came to a tentative labor agreement.
With the news of the lockout being over, Knick fans and NBA all around the country were finally able to rejoice. In an offseason that had been filled with talks of money and greed, talks could now change towards discussing the X’s and O’s of the sport.
As whole everyone involved is thrilled to have an NBA season but the fans are more excited than anyone. New Yorkers were close to facing a cold harsh winter without the warmth of watching their favorite team play.
“I felt like partying when I heard the news,” said Charlie Moore, a 22-year-old self-proclaimed basketball fanatic. “I truly thought the season was going to be canceled,” said Moore, ‘When I found out that the season was saved, it felt like Christmas had come early.
Fans like Moore consider basketball and watching the Knicks as a way to get through the boredom and depression of winter.
“It looked like it was really going to be a long winter, but now I feel like there is something to look forward too.” said Moore.
Other fans like 26-year-old Knicks season ticket holder Nick Pisco have a different feeling toward the lockout being over. “I wouldn’t say that I’m excited as much as I am relieved,” said Pisco, “I was debating canceling my season tickets due to the lockout but thankfully I don’t have to think about that anymore.”
For the fans that endured 149 days of grueling and arduous labor negotiations, it is finally time to put that in the past and focus on the upcoming season. The NBA season is set to start on Christmas day and New Yorkers could not be happier.