Lockout Wars: A Fool’s (False?) Hope


Hope is the mother of fools – Polish proverb

Life in Europe is a funny thing, especially when you follow the NBA closely. Insomnia caused by Western Conference games, insomnia caused by lockout news, and all that are a pretty interesting experience, one that last Sunday night has underlined more than any night I’ve ever had.

With election day in Poland, my beloved Oilers season opener in the NHL and the lockout talks all basically unfolding at the same time, it was pretty wild.

And while the party I voted for received an extraordinary share of votes for a political outsider, why the party  I was rooting against lost the elections, while the Oilers won with the Penguins in the shootout, the one thing I wanted the most to come to a happy ending this night, didn’t happen.

With the lockout continuing, it’s hard to find voices of optimism within the basketball community. While we certainly had fun with our #fiftyonepointfive hashtag (I even helped get it trending in Poland, apparently), the fun ended with the meeting. As the league and the players issued a collective no-comment, sources reported information, that, at least for me, were rather grim

The biggest one was that the BRI wasn’t discussed, which explained why Derek Fisher didn’t want to make a statement about progress made, the other big news was that the owners didn’t want to move from their seemingly final 50/50 BRI proposal. With another doomsday coming tomorrow (by now the amount of them probably beats the amount of doomsdays in Roland Emmerich films) the atmosphere looks even more grim than ever, and I’m really starting to loose hope.

You see, I’m not a cynic or a pessimist. Au contraire, I’ve already said that the season would start on time, that the Suns would make the playoffs, that  Marcin Gortat would become an All-star and, on an NBA-unrelated note, that the Edmonton Oilers would jump from the worst team in the league, into a cosy playoff spot. I’m almost delusional about things I love and I often find myself being a fool due to it.

The questions to be asked during tomorrow’s possible basketball ELE are much bigger than just the mandatory “who will cave” issue. The question is, how much more can we take? How much longer can we optimistically prance around singing “Kumbaya” and moving from doomsday to doomsday with crossed fingers, as if we’re in Von Trier’s Melancholia?

And most importantly, are we fools to be optimistic? Are we fools to analyze what’s going on by counting the hours of the meeting or by saying “today the lockout ends”.

We blame Metta Ron World Peace Artest for making a cruel joke, saying that his sources indicate the end of the lockout.

Yet, for a split second there, we gained a little optimism. We all knew MettaRon is an attention seeker. We all knew it wasn’t true. But we wanted it to be true. so bad that we needed someone to snap us out of the lucid dream.

A part of me now hopes that Artest cries wolf again. And this time, this wolf will eat him, while we smile and watch as a new labour agreement is signed.

Then, when we wake up from our pipe dream we will understand what our problem was in this lockout all along. False hope. Hope that Robert Sarver and Dan Gilbert have brains. Hope that the players want to play more than they want to earn money. Hope that the sides will treat this seriously, rather than just keep firing guns at each other.

The season will start on November 1st. Marcin Gortat will become an All-star, and so will Steve Nash. The Suns will reach the playoffs and Robert Sarver won’t overpay Jamal Crawford or Shannon Brown. What do these statements have in common? While possible, they’re improbable. All they are is a bunch of a fool’s hopes.

By the way, I quietly referenced a grand total of five doomsday films, and one non-doomsday film. If you can name them all (one is already named, and there’s a big hint for three more of them, too), you’ll get a shout out on twitter, or whatever non-financial, non-material gain I can provide you with.

Tags: Dan Gilbert David Stern Doomsday Hope Lockout Robert Sarver