Blog Entry

Finals over, now time for main event

Posted on: June 18, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2010 8:00 pm
 
LOS ANGELES – At the risk of looking ahead before the party at Ron Artest’s house is over, it’s time to consider how different the NBA landscape will look the next time someone hoists the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Everyone but Gregg Doyel seemed to enjoy the epic, seven-game series given to us by the Lakers and Celtics. In fact, the series was ABC's most-viewed Finals and Game 7 was the most-watched NBA game since Michael Jordan's last championship shot in 1998 against the Jazz. At a time when owners and executives are understandably nervous about what the future will hold under a new collective bargaining agreement, it didn’t hurt for the sport to put its best foot forward for two weeks in June.

The momentum will carry right into the draft next week, when the NBA welcomes its next potential superstar, John Wall. Then, the main event: free agency, beginning July 1. The decisions and alliances that will be made during the first week of July could shift the balance of power and change the sport for the next decade.

Will LeBron James stay in Cleveland, to be joined by Chris Bosh or another high-profile free agent in a sign-and-trade? Will he form an alliance with Dwyane Wade in Miami, Derrick Rose in Chicago, or a superstar-to-be-named-later in New York? Will Kobe Bryant, fresh off his fifth title, push for a sign-and-trade scenario that would add Bosh to the Lakers’ embarrassment of riches?

The possibilities are endless, though Bryant was in no mood to contemplate all of this after celebrating his second straight title Thursday night. Asked by an enterprising reporter about the daunting possibility of facing a team with, say, LeBron and Wade in next year’s Finals, Bryant shot back, “What is it with you? You want to just emotionally drain me? I don’t want to think about that. Those guys, I’ve seen those guys up close and personal. I don’t want to think about playing against both of them at the same time. I want to enjoy this for a little bit.”

Not for long.

Once the free agency dust settles, the focus will shift from the Summer of LeBron to an army of lawyers, actuaries and accountants who are wrestling with the 800-pound gorilla in the room: the collective bargaining agreement. As thrilling as the Lakers-Celtics series was, it only underscored how concentrated the power – and titles – are among the big-market, high-revenue teams. Despite the fact that the players will include a plan for changing the league’s revenue-sharing model when they submit a proposal to the league in the next two weeks, sources indicate that NBA negotiators remain adamant that revenue sharing will not be part of the bargaining process. Months after getting an early start on negotiations, the owners and players still disagree on the validity of $400 million in losses stated by commissioner David Stern. Any way you slice it, it’s going to be a long, ugly fight with the goal of preventing a work stoppage when the current agreement expires on June 30, 2011.

Which brings us back to how things will look the next time the confetti is falling as Stern hands over the championship trophy 12 months from now. Stern’s NBA could be embarking on the most impactful era of basketball since Jordan retired, with big stars in big markets and world-wide interest in the sport perhaps even surpassing the Jordan era. And this could also be true next June: The NBA could be days away from a lockout that would kill all the momentum.

These are important times with a lot at stake, and with no time to do what Bryant pleaded with reporters to let him do: Enjoy it for a little bit.



Comments

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 19, 2010 4:27 am
 

Finals over, now time for main event

That's the thing with the world today. Nobody can enjoy their successes due to the constant badgering of the future. The Lakers justwon the title and a reporter asks about LeBron and Wade or other issues NEXT YEAR????!!!! Did they not know a championship was won last night? But!!! We as fans want everything served on a platter and a crystal ball that will tell us the champion of next year before the off-season can play out, nevermind the heat from the championship just played. Someone once told me to enjoy what you have accomplished before you start another task. He was right, because if you don't enjoy each success that has been earned, all you do is work tirelessly to an early grave with no happiness. Success is nothing without enjoying the fruits of your labor. Enjoy Lakers!!!!!! Next year will come soon enough!!!!! Now I'm ready for some football!!!!!!!!

Very well said. I remember when the off-srason was just, well, the off-season. Since when does it have a "main event?"




Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2010 12:32 am
 

Finals over, now time for main event

That's the thing with the world today. Nobody can enjoy their successes due to the constant badgering of the future. The Lakers justwon the title and a reporter asks about LeBron and Wade or other issues NEXT YEAR????!!!! Did they not know a championship was won last night? But!!! We as fans want everything served on a platter and a crystal ball that will tell us the champion of next year before the off-season can play out, nevermind the heat from the championship just played. Someone once told me to enjoy what you have accomplished before you start another task. He was right, because if you don't enjoy each success that has been earned, all you do is work tirelessly to an early grave with no happiness. Success is nothing without enjoying the fruits of your labor. Enjoy Lakers!!!!!! Next year will come soon enough!!!!! Now I'm ready for some football!!!!!!!!



Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: June 19, 2010 12:01 am
 

Finals over, now time for main event

It will be interesting to see how the Collective Bargaining mess pans out. If the new deal brings in a major change in revenue sharing, it's hard to say where Labron will end up. ***cough pacers cough**Cool



Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2010 9:45 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Giostar, while Dallas might have the talent to put together a good package for LeBron, I must say I cannot seriously see the self-proclaimed King going to Dallas. And if Dallas does offer Cleveland a package, it might leave Dallas with a cupboard too bare to be a serious contender, with or without James. Obviously I am not an insider, but based on his past actions, I would say that James appears to need either the bright lights of a major media market (and let's face it - New York and Los Angeles are the two biggest and there is no way the Lakers are interested, which leaves the Knicks and Nets) or a guaranteed championship ring. And I'm not sure Dallas meets either of those requirements.

Dallas is a good team and they have an excellent organization by all reports. Getting James (especially as a free agent) to go with heir current cast would instantly make them a top-flight contender along with Orlando and the LA Lakers. Those are the only teams that I see as being serious contenders right now - despite their performance in the Finals, I'm not sure Boston is a real contender, depending on what happens this summer. But....could James survive happily in Dallas and is he willing to go to a smaller market when Dallas may not even be as good as Cleveland right now?

It all comes down to the question of whether or not James could be happy in a place like Dallas that cannot offer him the opportunities that he would have in New York and where he would not have the family and friends he does in Cleveland.  And on a team that on paper at least is less talented than the one he was just on in Cleveland! And I don't know what the answer to that question is. I do know that James has been reported to have some arrogance issues, and he certainly seems to love the limelight. So would he go to a place like Dallas if he thought he had a real chance to win a championship? Not sure. Dallas has a good coach in Rick Carlyle, a solid cast and a supporting superstar in Nowitzki. But would that be enough, especially after the meltdown in Cleveland this past playoffs? 




Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Yeah, I'm sure Lebron will put Clevelands needs ahead of his own. And I'm sure Lebron will want to team up again with a guy approaching his mid 30's again after his experience with Antwan Jamison.



Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2010 8:06 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Will stay in Cleveland, to be joined by or another high-profile free agent in a sign-and-trade? Will he form an alliance with in Miami, in Chicago, or a superstar-to-be-named-later in New York?I still cant figure out why Dallas is not mentioned here. Lebron is not going to just leave Cleveland and flip them the bird. Dallas has the talent to offer Cleveland a nice package, and still contend for a Championship... right now. I dont want to hear this 3 or 4 years from now stuff. Lebron and Dirk are the perfect fit. And you never know what 3 or 4 years from now brings.

Now that I think about it... maybe thats why no one is mentioning Dallas.


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