November 26, 2011

Sad sacks and backpacks: Looking back at the 2011 NBA Lockout.

The lockout is over, and not a moment to soon. I don't know about you, but I was getting tired of watching a grim looking Derek Fisher flanked by adults wearing backpacks. Can someone explain this fashion trend to me? What's next, Lebron and Kobe touting lunch boxes? Dwight Howard in a Superman snuggie? Big Baby Davis in a diaper?

And take a look at Shannon Brown in shorts and a t-shirt. How was anyone supposed to take these guys seriously when they showed up to negotiations as if it was a pajama party? How about Baron Davis with the teal lumberjack flannel and beanie? Even veteran Paul Pierce is sporting a backpack. C'mon.

And what's inside these ubiquitous backpacks? A calculator and pencil to compensate for the bargaining ineptitude of NBA Union rep Billy Hunter? Perhaps some No-Doze, to prevent being lulled to sleep by the somber timber of commissioner David Stern's voice?

Take a look at Ray Allen. That's the way to dress, fellas. The NBA minimum salary for a ROOKIE is $473,604, and grows exponentially with experience. Please tell me these guys have a few hundred bucks in their piggy bank for a suit from Men's Warehouse.

And what about emaciated NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver? He looks like the love child of Woody Allen and John Waters. Someone feed that man a burger. He makes Madison Avenue models look chubby and chipper.

The aforementioned Commissioner Stern is wearing thin with me. He's done so much for the league, but lately comes across like a grumpy rabbi. Would it kill the man to crack a smile once in a blue moon? This is a lockout, not the Nuremberg Trials.

The NBA used to be fun. Players of yesteryear had upbeat names like World B. Free and Happy Hairston. Today we have scowling malcontents and players without a pulse like Carmelo Anthony. The league feels like high school detention.

I have a suggestion for the players and NBA reps. Don't Worry, Be Happy. That song was released in 1988, the year the Pistons faced off against the Lakers in the Finals. The stars of those teams were guards Isaiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. Say what you will about them, but no-one had a broader smile. Take note, Carmelo.