Everyone who has written about the NBA lockout tosses out hyperbolic phrases like “welcome to armageddon” or “this is a tragedy.” Well, we nearly saw a real tragedy this week when a gunman opened fire inside a popular nightclub in the Chelsea section of New York. One man, sadly, was killed. And among the patrons inside were some of the NBA’s brightest young stars.
The star-studded guest list included other current NFL and NBA players, the sources say: Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs; John Wall of the Washington Wizards; Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats; Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls; Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder; and former New York Knick Chris Duhon, who now plays for the Orlando Magic.
I don’t know where they were sitting, or where the gunman fired. But one can easily assume that being in a place where someone is shooting puts you at risk for being shot.
Not only would that have been a tragedy, but it would have brought this entire labor mess to a horrible new level because it wouldn’t have taken long for someone to say “if we had only reached an agreement sooner, these guys wouldn’t have been in that club.”
There is no indication at all that any of the athletes in the club were involved in any capacity. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are the fortunate ones in this story. Others were not. And I’d rather write a million lockout stories than the one I could have been writing if one of these guys was in a different spot in the club when that gun went off.