Is there coal in my stocking? Nope, just the NBA

By Dan Shade

“Oh my! I am so happy!” was not my response when the NBA lockout ended. I haven’t even thought about what I want for Christmas, but when I found out the NBA was returning Christmas day I got a little depressed.

Living in Ohio is most often painful for sports fans, and this year has been an extremely bad year for us with the problems Ohio State football has had. Because of these struggles of Ohio sports, one of the last things I wanted to see was the Cavs, despite having the first pick in the draft this past year.

During the 149-day lockout, I have watched the Indians falter (again), the NFL lockout end, the Browns lose five games by ten or less points, and Ohio State go through a tough season where they lost to Michigan for the first time in eight years.

I have heard so many people scream for joy that basketball is back because they claim that last year’s playoffs were amazing. The only reason people think the playoffs were great is because we got to watch LeBron and the Miami Heat lose in the finals to a German. In all reality, for me, basketball was never gone.

College basketball is still here and is more exciting than it has been for a long time. For the first time in a while, most people actually know more than one player on their team because so many good players stayed in fear of an NBA lockout.

Some of last year’s biggest names are once again this year’s big names in college basketball. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, UNC’s Harrison Barnes, Baylor’s Perry Jones and Kentucky’s Terrence Jones are just a few stars that chose to stay for a second year of college, and, let’s be honest; it can’t hurt for them to get another year of education in the classroom and on the court.

While I can say that I am a Cavs fan and a Cleveland sports fan, I am just getting very tired of seeing billionaire owners and millionaire players argue about who deserves to get more money. I miss the days when athletes would play for the enjoyment of the sport. I miss the rivalries of sports, and the NBA has become the worst. I miss the days when players were actually committed to trying to win a championship for their city and team, even if they never would.

One day I thought about great players like Reggie Miller, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing and Dominique Wilkins. All of those players stuck with their teams and won a lot of games and had personal achievements, but none of them ever won an NBA title. They had commitment to their teams and cities and they stuck with them through thick and thin. Where would the NBA be if all of these players decided to play together for a couple of season just to win a ring?

I am probably just a bitter Cleveland sports fan who is still pissed that LeBron left Ohio with no class, but more than anything I am a sports fan. I can’t stand super teams and I can’t stand tools that can’t see the bigger picture of sports. Sports are about competition and pushing your teammates to do things that are unbelievable.

Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks was one of the greatest NBA rivalries ever, but we really don’t see rivalries like that anymore. The NBA has a lot of changes that need to be made, but unfortunately lockouts like this one won’t change things like that. I want to enjoy NBA basketball, but I have struggled to be the least bit excited for this year’s season.