As we make our way into the 2016- 2017 NBA season
The Impending Lockout Doom
The top off the court story for the 2016-17 NBA season is the one nobody wants to talk about — the possibility of a lockout. It could become a certainty December 15, when owners the players union decide whether to opt out or into the current CBA. And with the players united and the owners out of touch, it becomes more likely with each passing day that the 2017-18 season will be affected.
It’s the outcome that neither side wants, especially with league revenues at an all time high. But barring a last minute negotiating magic trick by commissioner Adam Silver, players will be locked out for the fourth time since 1995. Stay tuned.
Knicks-Rockets National Anthem update pic.twitter.com/QZay0F2fNk
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) October 5, 2016
The NBA and Social Activism
Social unrest has spread to the NBA. Players and management alike have spoken out on the issue of police violence, beginning with the Lebron James led call to action at the ESPYs this year. And when Charlotte owner Michael Jordan made huge donations to the NAACP and a Police Relations group, the league became a public forum for the nation’s concerns.
But what will the players do for an encore this season? Will they go silent or follow the example of Colin Kaepernick and make NBA venues into protest platforms? It remains to be seen how it will play out, but some sort of fireworks seem likely.
Place Your Bets?
The NBA has recently penned a huge deal with data company Sportradar. The company will use player tracking machinery to compile official league data and sell it to gambling houses in the U.S. and overseas. This deal establishes a direct and lucrative link between the league and legalized gambling all over the world.
Some observers think that by increasing the global market for legalized gambling, the league’s involvement will give lobbyists leverage in their negotiations to expand legalized gambling in the U.S. It should be interesting to see how public opinion responds to the deal, especially with the dark history connected to pro sports and gambling.
The Chris Bosh Saga
The only thing we know for certain about Chris Bosh’s beef with the Miami Heat is that his career with the team is over. Everything else is he said, he said, with Bosh and Heat president Pat Riley duking it out in the media over who disrespected who first.
Riley claims that after Bosh failed his physical because of blood clots, he did everything he could to contact the 11 time all-star. Bosh denies that he cut off communication and lashed out against the team on social media. It will be interesting to see if Bosh lands with another team season and what damage, if any, the conflict does to the Miami Heat brand.
Has Mitch McGary Played His Final NBA Game?
In another ongoing saga, the league has added 10 games to The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Mitch McGary’s drug suspension. After testing positive for marijuana in July, McGary failed to follow procedural requirements involved in his initial 5 game suspension.
These suspensions were right after McGary took an unexplained leave of absence from the team last season. And with his playing time and effectiveness shrinking last season, it is unlikely the Thunder will ask him to come back now. Hopefully, the once promising young forward can hook up with another team this season, but even this is an iffy proposition.