Jeff Van Gundy Preaches A Lot Of Truth About The Lockout

I’ll spare you the exposition leading up to this.  There’s nothing I can write that hasn’t been written and the quotes are too good.  Jeff Van Gundy was on the radio in Houston, and he was preaching.

“You know what I was thinking about today, and even yesterday, is how very few people care about the NBA lockout. You just don’t hear people talk. If it wasn’t on sports talk or ESPN … would anybody even know? You have to be careful if you’re both ownership and players, that you realize with the economy and so many other options with your disposable income, don’t think it will always stay like it has. It can go the other way. This is not football. Football has a stranglehold on America right now, NFL football, and rightfully so. It’s 16 games. If you’re a season-ticket holder it’s eight games, or 10 games with the preseason games, and it’s on the weekend.”

Damn right. DAMN right. 

This isn’t football, yet the egos involved, on both sides, are really neglecting that key fact.  Short of the NFL organizing roaming mobs of people in various team uniforms on puppy-kicking sprees… they can do just about anything they want and be forgiven.  And honestly… I’m iffy on the puppy-kicking fallout.  Hell, the NFL let a provision that would have allowed for HGH testing lapse, allowing a loophole for performance enhancing drug use, and NO ONE CARES!!!

So guys, this ain’t football.  It’s not even baseball right now.  Baseball sent half of America into either orgasmic joy or bridge-jumping depression after one of the wildest nights in the sport’s history.  Meanwhile, the best thing to happen to the NBA lately is a writer sent a cake into the negotiations and everyone got a little chuckle.  


Egos are ruining this whole sport right now.  I’m surprised David Stern isn’t referring to himself in the third person.

“At the end of the day, this is David Stern trying to get a deal that will save the sport.  And if David Stern can do his job, we’ll get a deal done.”

If only both sides could realize that they’re fighting over the GDP of more than a dozen small countries.  If only both sides could understand that they should slip out the back door of whatever $500 a night Manhattan hotel they’re occupying (do they have a back door?) and just lay low, get a deal done, and come out all smiles and handshakes.  

Sports is supposed to be our escape from life, it’s not supposed to mirror it.  If I want to see a bunch of super rich people pretend to care about the common folk while manipulating a system to retain power and line their pockets some more, I’d watch political coverage on CNN or something.  I don’t want to feel like two guys in $5,000 suits are reaching into my pocket and fighting over how to divvy up my last $20. 

This won’t change anything.  This thing is really almost over anyway.  I just wish the people involved approached this with the same clarity and forethought that Jeff Van Gundy demonstrated in that one quote.  I wish they knew their place and understood the climate.  But of course, they’re megalomaniacal billionaires.  The only climate they know is the one that’s controlled in their mansions, penthouse offices, and chauffeured town-cars.  I guess expecting them to see things from any our perspectives is asking too much.

Photo: ESPN