The previous five months have been extremely frustrating for NBA fans. Until owners and the NBPA reached a handshake agreement early Saturday morning to end the NBA's lockout and start the season on Christmas Day, the prospect of losing the entire season was alarmingly real. After the entertaining and successful season the league just completed, blowing up this season was incomprehensible, but it almost happened.
The buildup and then collapse of one negotiating session after another, and mishandling of both the negotiating and public relations strategies by each side, had reached the point of absurdity. Hardcore fans watched and grew more and more dejected and angry while casual fans didn't even bother to follow. The current world economic situation made the squabbling of overpaid players and overly wealthy owners appear even more ludicrous.
With training camps scheduled to start on December 9th and a 66-game regular season December 25th, only 16 regular season games have been lost. Also lost was the NBA's summer league, extended free agent signing period, training camps and preseason. In their place will be a little over two weeks of combined FA signing, camps and preseason. From a calendar standpoint, about two months of meaningful basketball were missed by fans.
We've shared plenty of angry and frustrated words about the lockout on this blog, many written by me. Now that it's over, how long do you hold on to that bitterness or indifference brought about by the events of the lockout? Are you ready to let it go right now and fully embrace the Suns and NBA? Or will it take a little coaxing, maybe a thrilling Suns victory or two or additional time, to win you back? Will you continue to attend games if you had previously? Buy NBA League Pass if you live outside Phoenix? Buy NBA apparel?
Speak up, Suns fans. Our lockout coverage will soon be wrapping up, and the real league news will be coming hot and heavy over the next few weeks.