A Couple of Must Reads

Things have taken an expected unexpected turn for the nasty in the ongoing debacle that is the NBA labor dispute. What had been postured as maybe the final throes of debate has now turned into an out-and-out siege, and the likelihood that we’ll see at least some part of 2011-12 is growing smaller by the minute.

So, as if you haven’t already had enough, I thought I’d throw out some links to pieces that have come out in the last couple of days that every Blazer fan, and NBAer in general should take a look at.

First there’s this.

Saying Adrian Wojnarowski is a sensationalist is a bit of an understatement. This piece set fire to Portland talk radio all Friday afternoon (so much so that I actually sat through an hour and a half of The Bald Face Truth while at work). Granted it is entirely speculation that Blazers’ owner Paul Allen did what he did because he wants to sell the team and escape north to the basketball-less Emerald City–Canzano made a cocked-eyed attempt at making sense of Woj’s argument by saying Allen is interested in a new CBA that makes small market teams more viable to inflate the value of the Blazers and dupe the team’s potential next owner, an argument that makes little to no sense since only somebody super rich would buy the team in the first place, and this city doesn’t care a wit about the dude running the team as long as the TEAM IS PLAYING, meaning it’s the team itself that’s valuable.

Whatever. At least the Blazers are in the news. And remember there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

After that, try this.

Chris Sheridan has been seemingly the lone positive voice in the leading voices that have spit out daily coverage of the lockout (and there have been many that deserve the highest praise. Two stand out above most: CBS’s Ken Berger and Howard Beck of The New York Times). Sheridan still seems to think that an 82-game season is possible. I’d love to get my hands on the drugs he’s on.

This piece is a sober, straight-forward look at some of the finer points of what is actually being negotiated. Seriously, some sobriety is needed in all this madness. And if you’re like me, there is no better sedative than an article full of percentage breakdowns and financial projections.

And finally, if you read one article about the hardships of arena employees, make sure it’s this.

The plight of the working man has taken center stage in discussions of all types in the last few years, seeing as unemployment is basically as bad as it has been in everybody’s lifetime. This lockout is no different. True, there has been a bit of pandering when it comes to the topic of players and owners settling their differences for the good of the people who need gyms to be open to cash paychecks, and there has also been some overall backlash to the whole angle of the struggle of the arena employee.

This piece is none of that. Here we have an extremely well written and lucid take on what it means to ACTUAL people to lose NBA games. Writers can argue objectively about this issue until they’re blue in the face. At the end of the day, among the ranks of those that draw paychecks to write about basketball (which, in case you were wondering does NOT include this writer) most will still get paid for their work–it’s not a coincidence that the coverage of Oregon high school football has gotten so much better this year. Those that work games for a living need there to be games to work. Hearing about it from the source makes that even more clear.

Ok. Read that stuff, then ignore everything you hear after that. I’m starting to think that the best thing we can do as fans is stop paying attention to what’s going on. If we can take the NBA labor dispute off the front page, then maybe all the boisterous fronting will stop, this thing can get resolved, and we can all get back to something that really matters. Hating on LeBron.

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Twitter: @mikeacker | @ripcityproject

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Tags: Adrian Wojnarowski Chris Sheridan Howard Beck Ken Berger Lockout Must Reads

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