T.J. Simers: It could be happy holidays for NBA fans


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The NBA season will begin on Christmas Day.

OK, just a guess.

And while I’m a big believer in stupidity, seeing it all the time in sports, I will be shocked if the only thing the NBA agrees on is to be stupid en masse.

At some point the money grab will win out.

There is no way the players hang together and wait until next season to begin play again.

And while it might serve the owners, who will be in business long after most of these players have finished their careers, to win it all, the owners won’t be much tougher.


Many of them represent ownership interests in places like Atlanta, Toronto, Indiana, Cleveland, Memphis, Washington and Minnesota, where they already struggle to find much interest in the NBA.

Anyone who has spent a good part of their life in L.A. for the past 17 years knows life is still worth living despite having no local professional football team to follow.

Out of sight and out of mind ought to be words that send a chill up the bottom line of any sports franchise owner.

The best the NBA can hope for is fans missing the playoffs, really the only reason for most to suffer through an NBA regular season.

Now as it is, the NBA has done itself no favors. There was all this talk about players going overseas to play like we would care, and then there was talk of a barnstorming tour. For the most part none of it materialized.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has been pounding his chest like some kind of cartoon hero with one empty ultimatum after the next.


At the same time, Derek Fisher and his fellow millionaires have done nothing to invite sympathy. How difficult would it have been to organize a tour of the country, every dollar earned in a string of games going to local charities? Maybe they could have set up a fund to pay those workers across the land deprived of a living because of the NBA lockout.

It’s not like any of these guys who go to work in short pants won’t be cashing gigantic checks again at some point, but I know, a silly suggestion.

For the most part no one cares who wins: players or owners. It’s not that much different than the crusade by some to bring the NFL back to L.A. -- let us know when the opening kickoff is in the air.

Attention means so much, if not everything to professional sports. Without it, check with horse racing, boxing and hockey to see what a struggle it can be.

That’s why I don’t put it past the players and owners to reach an agreement in time to offer themselves as some sort of Christmas present to their faithful.

Fisher and Stern might even stand shoulder to shoulder to tell us they were willing to do so, even at great sacrifice, because they care so much about NBA fans.


If I’m wrong, I’m wrong and the NBA players and owners really are a stupid lot.


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-- T.J. Simers