Thursday, November 10, 2011

No NBA Will Mean Much Bigger Audience For College Basketball

This is not exactly a revelation. With the NBA in its seemingly interminable lockout, college basketball figures to increase its audience this year.

I was at a sports bar last night and caught the crazy second half of the St. Johns - Lehigh game.  I was actually surprised to see the game, as I hadn't checked out the college basketball schedule.

The other thing that surprised me was how happy I was to see the game.  I'm not a huge NBA fan.  I was born in Indiana and have always loved the team-oriented, fundamentally-sound style of game that is fairly rare to see these days.  The NBA, with its reliance on 1-on-1 play, is less interesting to me.

However, it's November.  And it's cold.  We should be watching basketball.

It won't be the NBA.  Negotiations are still going badly, and it doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon.  The owners are taking back a large chunk of money that they gave away in the last CBA, and the players are resisting strongly.

Or are they? This past week, several players made comments on twitter or in public that seemed to reveal a split in the players' union.  Some wanted to take the deal on the table, others were directed at their union leaders.  It's not a surprise, really.  The individuality that the NBA celebrates and promotes in its players make it very difficult for them to subordinate their individual needs and do what's best for the collective whole.

I'm really fine with however long it takes for the NBA to come back.  The college game is far more exciting, passionate, and interesting.  Many casual NBA fans might not even notice the NBA isn't there until April.

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