"I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."
When I was younger, those six words pretty much kept me in line. Like any boy or girl growing up, my parents got mad at me. The time I took a permanent marker and drew a sizeable car across the living room wall at the age of 8 enraged them. Bouncing my mini basketball in the kitchen despite repeatedly being told not to, lead to the pans being knocked off the stove as well as a broken window. I saw my mum and dad angry that day too.
But being caught smoking at the bottom of the garden at the age of 13 didn't result in red mist for my folks. Instead they were disappointed because I'd broken their trust.
The main difference between anger and disappointment is this: Anger is like a firework – light the fuse, the reaction happens and within seconds it's over and everything is forgotten. With disappointment, it's personal. It's not a fleeting feeling. It stays with you for a long time and even though you will have moved on from the event, you'll still remember why you initially felt it and your heart will drop again.
And that's how I'm feeling about Commissioner David Stern and his decision to barely alter the price of League Pass despite the number of games being significantly reduced – disappointed.
Not to drag up painful memories of the recent past but when the season was teetering on the brink of collapse, I was angry at all parties involved. I was confused at how both sides were willing to forgo an entire 2011 campaign because they couldn't reach an amicable agreement despite everyone foreseeing what was about to take place many months before and I was full of anger that they didn't seem to care enough to change it.
News then came that a season would take place and even if it was only 66 games as opposed to the scheduled 82, I was delighted. On top of that, the perfectly coiffured Bucher of ESPN.com announced that officiating changes were being made which would make the games more viewer friendly. It really did seem like NBA fans were coming first for a change and as well as the love of the game growing in each hoop head, trust in the decision makers was also on the increase.
But just as we were willing to forgive the NBA for the extended off-season (mainly because we were just so happy to have our sport back) Stern and Co delivered a predictable gut punch as the League Pass prices were released. At that moment, every bridge the Commissioner had built and extended to fans to win them back, was set alight.
Don't give us a shortened season where teams will rely heavily on their rotations and games will be a battle of second string players and then tell us we are going to have to pay $169, almost as much as the previous season. None of what's happened is our fault so why are we being punished? We've not caused any of the CBA issues and we've not brought this on ourselves. It looks like we are simply the collateral damage in a pathetic power struggle.
And just as after almost 17 years my parents refuse to forget the moment they caught me smoking my first cigarette, we as NBA fans won't be ignoring this one because it's personal.
It's not anger we feel, it's just disappointment.