A year lost to the black hole of an NBA lockout doesn’t stop at lost revenues for team owners, nor the lost nights of kicking back with an extra large bag of Doritos to catch a game.
An NBA lockout means some players who live and breathe hoops won’t know what to do with themselves. To be real, the most gifted of NBA players probably don’t have hobbies, and blasting inferior competition in self-organized streetball games can only fulfill that competitive itch so long.
Not all, but most basketball players will be bothered without that competition. For aging vets, losing a year could mean watching their last few capable years fizzle out. On the opposite side of the spectrum, young guns will be missing out on a season that would become a valuable learning curve. And for others, this season could make or break the rest of their careers.
THE OLD GUYS
It warms our hearts to watch veterans go out on top. At least, it’s nice to see them take on smaller roles to lead their squad to a championship or an exciting playoff run. And there’s an impressive class of veterans whose tanks are running on empty. Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd and Tim Duncan have seen better days, but they have the coaching and teammates behind them to send them out with titles or something close to that. Sure, players in this demographic don’t have the same roles they did in their prime, but they have evolved enough as savvy basketball players to chug along for a few solid years on very good teams.
Then, there’s guys like Steve Nash and even Kobe Bryant, who are still very capable of having All-Star seasons. Still, the clocks are ticking, and losing a year is a huge blow to their Hall of Fame careers.
And this lockout could hurt players like 39-year-old Kurt Thomas more than anyone. Thomas, the league’s oldest player, and his group of elders would probably cherish the 2011-12 season. It might have been their last.
Here’s a list of the league’s 10 oldest players:
1. Kurt Thomas
2. Grant Hill
3. Juwan Howard
4. Jason Kidd
5. Theo Ratliff
6. Steve Nash
7. Marcus Camby
8. Derek Fisher
9. Ben Wallace
10. Antonio Daniels