NBA Lockout Ends

Charles E. Sutton | 12/15/2011, 2:14 p.m.
After a 149-day work stoppage, there will be an NBA season after all. With training...

What the NBA could be facing is a passion deficit. The wave of excitement that was generated by last season's Dallas Mavericks has vanished, in the midst of the undefeated Packers, the unorthodox Tim Tebow, and the Penn State crisis. Pro sports leagues have bounced back from work stoppages. Major league baseball, the National Hockey League, and the NFL have all done it. This year the NBA's season has been reduced from 82 games to 66. If you ask me, this sounds more reasonable than disappointing.

NBA arena workers have been affected by the cancellation of games. However, there is no historical significant impact on the economies of cities with sports franchises affected by work stoppages. Explanations include reduced local government spending on crowd and traffic control, higher productivity by the general workforce without the distraction of games, and consumer shifting of spending on sporting events to other forms of entertainment.

It is estimated that a season-long lockout would have cost approximately $1 billion in lost TV advertisement revenue. The lockout would have created a big loss in TV ratings for networks that cover NBA games such as ESPN and TNT, and would have dealt a meaningful blow to the current licensed product market which is estimated at $ 2.7 billion.

Soon enough, NBA fans will again be clinging to their beloved league. Once the Super Bowl has been played, and we cut down the nets to end March Madness, our attention will naturally gravitate toward the NBA. A baseline 3-pointer by Ray Allen, or a monster dunk by Dwight Howard will probably be all that's required to get our NBA juices flowing again. By the time the playoffs start, fans will be thinking: What lockout?

So when basketball tries to wiggle its way into your home on Christmas Day, just say no. We know what Christmas is about, and it doesn't include the NBA. If the league wants us to be loyal followers, they're going to have to earn it. As I partake of food and drink on December 25, I'll treat the NBA the way I'll treat that plate full of store bought cranberry sauce--I'll ignore it!