Hi, you may not know me so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Thompson and whether you know it or not I love you. Yes it’s true. I love you as much as it is possible for a young man to love a sports association. That’s why it is with much pain that I write this letter to you. You see my first love is basketball, and when you love something you have to let them know when they are making mistakes just like you applaud them when they do so something amazing. This time you’re wrong.
You see I remember the moment I fell in love with this game. I was a wee child probably no older than 3 or 4 years old sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s living room watching these amazing athletes glide like gazelles up and down the court with the ability to soar through the air as if blessed with the gift of flight all the while displaying the toughness of a gladiator. From NERF battles against my sister who was a stand in for the Detroit Pistons to annoying older cousins and kids from church to let me join in their games, some of the happiest moments of my life came from the joy the NBA inspired. And now because of poor planning, disregard for the fans and a lack of perspective you’ve thrown away the opportunity to affect another generation as you have affected me.
I am not going to choose sides, I think both the owners and the players are wrong and we the NBA fans are left to suffer. I could bring up that the owners never intended to have a season with their unreasonable negotiating tactics. Refusing to budge and wanting to be saved from themselves for handing out years of ridiculous contracts. I could bring up the players who should realize that they will never win the battle of public opinion as people are hungry and jobless and don’t want to hear how many concessions you have given during these negotiations. In times such as this, just play. I understand it’s a business, but at the same time you are already the highest paid athletes. Perhaps within your own union teach rookies to be responsible with money instead of buying your entourage tattoos and a fleet of hummers.
You’re both wrong for not finding a way to give people what they want. And while I openly realize that in a world with so much injustice a game is not the most important thing in the world, seeing my favorite sport played by the greatest players in the world does give my mind the break from heavy issues of the day that it so sorely needs. So NBA I will watch you when you return, but until you get your act together I will have to get by with watching your little brother College Basketball. He’s not as good but hopefully he’ll always be there as a backup.
The Chocolate Puma