Sunday 17th June 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

How to Break Up With the NBA

I’ve been a bad bloggissist. For the past four weeks I’ve hardly been able to bring myself around to the keyboard to enter a thought, piece of advice or opinion on nary an NBA subject. Indeed, basketball and I have stopped talking.

Lacking in my duties have been features I quite enjoy writing and in no way should be affected by the lockout: NBA Card of the Week is one that was created to be self-sustaining. Alas, even in its own shell the lockout poison seems to seep through the cracks of the journalistic world.

I stopped listening or reading to anyone and everything. My Google reader account, chocked full of NBA bloggissists, and my TweetDeck application were both deleted from my phone’s home screen. Indeed, my own Twitter account has laid dormant, scarcely a post in the last few weeks save for random StumbleUpon goodness.

The pain of having the NBA leave has been too much to bear. Indeed, as football junkies mock us for crying about a lockout “during the offseason” the same could be said for the NFL sphere as their measly little lockout didn’t even cause them to miss a game. Instead, there are myriad players who, for lack of training, have become injured, effectively ruining the NFL season for many fans obsessed with fantasy football. What do they say about payback?

Numbness is an odd feeling. It surrounds you, breeds apathy but at the same time creates its own emotional wave of pain that can be felt deep, deep within the wells of your chest where, for an inkling of a moment, your bones feel a sharp jab followed by the warmth of blood rushing to the wound. Is it numbness, or is it heartbreak so intense the rush of adrenaline is keeping the rest of your extremities safe? I’m not sure, but what I am damn sure of is that I couldn’t care less about the fact that the players union and NBA officials met last week and nothing came out of it. I know that there’s not a single finger on me that cares to be lifted in support of my constituents apparent lust for Euroleague basketball.

I’m not sure what happened. How did it all go wrong? Our relationship was once a sparkling example of mindless fandom, corporatism and capitalization upon the incessant need for sports fans to latch on to a regionally-specific group of highly trained mercenaries to don the same colors we’d purchased at 1000% markup from their bosses. Besides that, we all shared love for one thing: the game of basketball. Somehow, we seem to have lost our way. Is Euroleague or FIBA better than the NBA? Absolutely not, otherwise genius moments like this wouldn’t happen.

So here we are. Still in love with the NBA. Hating every moment we’re away from it. Despising all the hurtful things its done to you. Yet, in an instant of both clarity and stupidity, if the NBA asked to get back together with us we would. Undoubtedly, we’d take all their mistakes, personal problems and misusage of our trust back without question because we’re not very smart. No, we’re in love.

So, hey, baby… want to give it another shot? Me too.

The newest edition to The Hoop Doctors writing staff, Dane Carbaugh is the editor and lead writer of the popular new basketball blog A Young Sabonis. Dane is a published research author and also writes for Dime Magazine and the ESPN TrueHoop Affiliate Portland Roundball Society. He can be found on Twitter at @DaneCarbaugh

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