Well, that about does it.
The NBA owners say they've made their best offer. The players responded Monday by vowing to file an antitrust lawsuit. The owners countered with a suit of their own. So, after months of hard feelings, contentious negotiations and downright ridiculous claims (really, did a union lawyer compare the players to plantation workers?), it's time for the rest of us to move on.
No season? No problem. Trust me, we'll all be just fine.
The next time you near someone talk about revenue splits or hard salary caps, put your hands over your ears and shout, "La! La! La! La! La!" Sure, it's a bit childish, but no more so than billionaire owners bickering with millionaire players after one of the most successful seasons in NBA history.
Clearly, none of those guys give a flip about the fans, the low-paid arena workers in desperate need of a paycheck, or the nondescript team employees who might soon be out of work as well.
While this is probably what the owners had in mind all along -- a major rollback they knew the union wouldn't accept -- and the players blundered by choosing court over a proposed settlement that was probably about as good as they're going to get, let's not digress.
And it's impossible to pick sides in this fight, which features billionaire owners determined to get even richer vs. millionaire players don't want to give up their other, other Benzes.
The fans, meanwhile, are left at the curb, supposed partners who get absolutely no say in the matter. It's time to start thinking about them.
Without further adieu, here's some tips for all those NBA diehards fretting over the idea of going through a long, cold winter without Dirk or Kobe to keep them company. Follow these few easy steps, and you should have no problem dealing with your hoops withdrawal:
--Introduce yourself to those folks who live under the same roof. Officially, they're known as your spouse and kids. You'd be amazed at how much you have in common. While going out for a romantic dinner with your betrothed or helping the kids with their math homework may seem a bit passe compared to Blake Griffin dunking over a car, in time you'll come to appreciate these little things they call "real life."
--Work on your jumper. All you need is a ball and goal, and it's actually quite fun. Most gyms come equipped with a regulation court. So does your neighborhood park. Heck, I went online and quickly found a rim and net that attaches to the side of your house for less than 50 bucks so you don't have to go anywhere. Or maybe you should go somewhere. Take a walk. Or a jog. Or a bike ride. These next few NBA-free months would be a good time to knock off a few pounds.
--Improve your bottom line. Forget a 51-49 split. How does a 100-0 split sound? With no need to buy NBA's League Pass so you can watch 14 games a night, you'll automatically be putting a couple of hundred extra buckets in your own pocket -- with nary a greedy owner or player trying to get his share.
--Put the money you're saving toward a European vacation. NBA stars shouldn't be the only ones going overseas during the lockout. As an added bonus, you might be able to catch one of your favorite players on the TV in your hotel room, even if you have no idea what the commentators are saying. That sure beats watching a replay of the 1970 game between the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks on NBA TV.
Still not persuaded you can do without the NBA?
Well, let's not forget that with the NFL settling its labor dispute, we've still got seven more weeks to go in the regular season, followed by the playoffs, then the Super Bowl. Once we're done with that glorious American holiday, it's only another week or two until pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training.
Before you know it, we're getting ready for opening day.
See, we'll all be just fine.