Even if the anticipated NBA lockout stretches into the 2011-12 regular season, fans may not be completely deprived of seeing their favorite players. Union president Derek Fisher says there have been discussions about possibly playing a series of games at various locations around the country.
Via Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com:
“I’d say it’s possible right now,” the Lakers guard said after Wednesday night’s game at Oracle Arena. “We’re so focused on trying not to be in that situation, so it’s tough to go into full-scale planning on those types of situations. But at the same time, we have a responsibility as a union and as an association to really keep options that are viable open for our guys.
The thought of charity games invokes the tone-deafness during the 1998 lockout when the union tried to organize a charity game for “needy” players. This time around, players have been much more cautious about their public relations approach.
As sports fans get to learn more about labor law and the differences between strikes and lockouts (whether we want to or not), the idea of players taking the court primarily for the entertainment of the fans – and not a paycheck – may help sway the court of public opinion in their direction. Of course it would have more of an impact if the league’s marquee players agree to be part of it. If it ends up being a glorified version of the NBA Summer League, they may as well scrap the idea and save everyone’s time.