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Lessons Learned from Life Locked Out


If you’re a fan of the Charlotte Bobcats or just an NBA fan in general, the current lockout situation has to be a little disturbing to you. The two sides seem way too far apart for the season to even have a chance to start on time. Of course, when training camps and preseason games start being cancelled it does not bode well either.

The good thing is we can rest assured that there will be basketball this year.

Sound crazy? Think about it in the context of the recent NFL lockout. With those guys we were talking about a $9 billion pie. Both sides wanted to protect what they had and hoped to get more from the other side. However, if they did not come to an agreement in time and games had to be cancelled then both sides lost.

As much as they might have wanted the other side to lose, they did not want to lose anything themselves. In this case, greed was good.

When it comes to the NBA, it is different, but the same concept essentially applies. Neither side will make a wooden nickel if there are no games played.

Does that mean they’ll get it all figured out in time to save the whole season? Not at all; the 1998-99 season is evidence of that. The good thing is, since the season is 82 games long—it will suck—but we have some breathing room.

What does this mean for the Bobcats? For that I think we can take a look at the NFL to see how life locked out has affected the fortunes of some teams.

In many cases, the talent of individual players has taken over the fortunes of their team. Tom Brady is carrying the Patriots while their defense struggles to get on the same page (something they probably would have done already if not for the lockout).

That talent has especially helped some teams shine that are not accustomed to winning. The Detroit Lions appear to be on the right track; even the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills have looked good.

There is no better example of talent shining through than Carolina’s Cam Newton. The Heisman trophy winner and national champion has looked more like a three or four year veteran than a rookie that did not get the chance to learn the playbook during OTAs.

I can see the same thing happening in the NBA. Chemistry and continuity take time to develop on a basketball team, but talent can make up for that (to a degree) while it does develop.

The roster experienced an overhaul last season so the Bobcats are a team that will really need time in order to develop the chemistry that a team needs. However, with some of the talent the team has the Bobcats could be an exciting team out of the gate.

I like Kemba Walker a lot. The man could just take over games last year when he was playing with UConn. He may be a little on the small side at 6-foot 1-inch and just 172 pounds, but I am eager to see what he can do at the NBA level.

Hopefully there will not be too much trouble getting Bismack Biyombo over to the United States to play. I can remember around draft time a lot of the talk about their being trouble buying his current contract out, but hopefully that will not be an issue when the season draws near. Anyone that can record a triple double like he did at the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit with 10 blocks has to have some serious game.

There is plenty of other young talents on the team that I am looking forward to seeing develop more, but the two latest additions stand out the most. It’s like getting a new sports car and then letting it sit in the drive way for six months as you itch to try it out.

Now if only that pesky lockout would end…


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