Five reasons NBA lockout is met with apathy

September 21, 2011, 4:21 am
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The NBA lockout has generally been met by apathy and not anger. That should worry the commissioner, owners and players, quite frankly.During the NFL lockout this summer, it seemed fans were upset, and they wanted their game back. That sentiment may have helped create further impetus for the sides to make a deal. The NBA is having its offseason lockout and very few, except those involved in the game and the hardcore, seem to be troubled.Here are five reasons the lockout is not resonating with sports fans:

1. NFL and MLB on center stage: Pro football just started and the Major League playoffs are right around the corner. Those are going to occupy the fans' time, energy and attention. The NHL is also further along in its season than the NBA is. The fact there are NFL and MLB games going on right now means even fewer people will tune into what's going on labor-wise in the NBA.2. Still offseason; no sense of urgency: Some casual fans might not even know the NBA is in a lockout. Who really knows that the Las Vegas Summer League was canceled or that training camps might be? Most people couldn't tell you when training camps start. Plenty of casual NBA fans don't even pay attention till after Christmas.3. Foregone conclusion -- half the season will be missed: Despite all the reported ups and downs during the negotiations over the past few months, the reality is that a large segment of fans are resigned to half the season being missed. Why? Because that's the picture that's been painted, whether owners or players intended to do that. Everyone knows there was a 50-game season during the previous lockout in 1998-99; and everyone knows the sides are further apart this time -- more than they were last time.4. Payback for the Summer of Excess: It is true that by the end of the season, the NBA had gained some momentum with a Dallas-Miami Finals and an intriguing playoffs that included San Antonio, the Lakers and Celtics all getting taken down. But the league is still paying a price for LeBron James' Decision and what was perceived as last summer's overindulgence during free agency.5. Billionaires vs. Millionaires doesn't cut it: During the NFL lockout, there seemed to be a subtle subtext: The disagreement was over how best to split up the money. In the NBA lockout, there seems to be the perception that both sides want more. That's the same thing, you say? Perhaps. But it's a perception the NBA is fighting.