Lockout Affecting College Basketball?
The NBA was all around on Friday at a college basketball game because there is no professional game to turn to.
Not for the players like (Shannon) Brown, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter, Marvin Williams, or Tyler Hansbrough who were all in attendance cheering on their respective schools. Not for O.J. Mayo or Matt Barnes either, who came even though their schools, USC and UCLA, play two hours north up the coast.
Not for the owners like (Dan) Gilbert.
Not the front office staffs either. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak could be seen chatting with former boss and current Golden State Warriors exec Jerry West as well as Lakers exec Magic Johnson. Clippers GM Neil Olshey and coach Vinny Del Negro were in the house (or, “on the boat”) too as special guests of Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan, a childhood friend of Del Negro’s.
Even Harrison Barnes’ game-high 17 points in North Carolina’s 67-55 win was largely only possible because of the lockout. Had there not been a threat of a work stoppage last spring, he could have easily opted to become a top-five pick in the NBA draft rather than return to school.
So many men that should have been entrenched in an NBA season, instead spectators of their own sport.
Yes, the NBA season is nowhere to be found, but there were signs of the league’s troubles everywhere you turned on Friday.