David Stern, the most corrupt commissioner in professional sports has canceled the first two weeks of the NBA season due to unsettled labor negotiations. And to the surprise of no one, no body cares. And by nobody I mean anyone that isn’t named Bill Simmons or Moose. So with the NFL dominating every TV across the country and the MLB Playoffs filling dead sports time from Tuesday-Saturday nights, the fact that nobody gives a shit about the NBA season isn’t shocking.
But come end of February, when the NFL season comes to an end and the only sport spitting out entertainment is the National Hockey League, where will these NOW distracted NBA fans turn? Is it possible for them to watch a sport that has 1/100th of the athletic ability as the NBA? Where players actually fight rather than getting their seven foot frames held back by 5’6 sixty year old refs? It’s a long shot but if there isn’t a season come February, they might not have a choice.
One would argue though that the discrepancy between the NBA and NHL is too large to overcome for the basketball fan. For starters, and I mean this in the most culturally accepting way possible, but the NHL has about ten black guys in the league. The number may be a few numbers higher or lower but the fact that I can confidently say the black population in the NHL is below 30 men might be too much to handle. The demographic for NBA fans is probably the complete opposite too. Because since the league is primarily made up of black players, the NBA draws in primarily black fans. It’s a fact. The NBA fan base consists of black people and people who wish they were black and in the NBA (i.e. Jewish kids such as myself). And a fan base that is made up of black and Jewish people, might have a hard time rooting for a league that is almost bare of either race. But still, they might not have a choice.
So if these NBA fans finally attempt to convert over to the NHL and decide to give it a shot, they might also create an entirely different breed of bandwagon fans. If the Bruins didn’t capture enough of “pink hat nation” last year, they might take on an even worse group of fare weather fans this year. And don’t expect this group to shell out money for games. Expect them to reluctantly watch the Bruins on a Thursday night, flicking back and forth to re-runs of “The Office” and “Martin”.
The NBA needs to happen, and even though right now nobody gives a crap, I don’t think the NHL is ready for having the sole spotlight on them come February.