Trietley: Cancellation of NBA games won’t completely change the sports landscape

By Greg Trietley

The probable cancellation of the National Basketball Association’s season will have… The probable cancellation of the National Basketball Association’s season will have far-reaching implications for the rest of the sports world. College basketball television ratings will rise. Time-lapse videos that document the conversion of arena ice rinks to basketball courts will go the way of the Sheboygan Red Skins.

But the NBA’s work stoppage won’t alter the sports landscape completely, because some things won’t change.

The number of nationally televised Sacramento Kings games will remain the same. When last heard from, the Kings featured a show-stopping lineup of Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Francisco Garcia, Sam Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento’s 24 wins in 2010-11 are the only indication that the franchise, in fact, still exists, albeit barely.

The number of fans at Pacers games should stay constant. Approximately 13,000 confused Indiana fans will arrive at Conseco Fieldhouse sporadically, asking, “Is this the Hoosiers game?” The on-court results of both the Pacers and Hoosiers also will not change.

For that matter, the chances of winning an NBA championship will remain unchanged for the following franchises: Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Toronto, Utah and especially Washington. These teams will continue to operate as the minor-league affiliates of the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Heat, which are the only franchises that matter.

The personal temptation to list Miami as a franchise with no possibility of winning a championship will endure, but it will be resisted.

Confused looks given to Pittsburgh residents who wear               Lakers hats and insist that they have been lifelong Los Angeles fans “through all the ups and downs” will remain staggeringly high.

The amount of sound defensive play seen on professional courts will stay at “nonexistent” for all teams except for San Antonio. The Spurs, as the pioneers of the revolutionary and unique “hands-up” defense, will see the quality of their play in their own end significantly decline in the absence of actual games.

On that note, the number of NBA rebounds per game for former Connecticut center and overall “lanky man” Hasheem Thabeet will continue at 0.0, or one Blutarsky.

Informative LeBron James comments will also stay at a rigid zero throughout the lockout. The number of uninformative comments, though, will increase at a hyperbolic rate as time approaches infinity.

The decision to watch “A Christmas Story over Christmas Day basketball will not waver.

League management will stay the course as far as marketing is concerned. Black-and-white commercials that feature dramatic, building music and slow-motion clips of fist pumps and ancillary pregame moments will remain a staple of primetime sports network breaks, since, as the popular slogan goes, the game itself “really isn’t that great,” regardless of whether or not one is played.

The disbanding of the players’ association will allow for players to continue acting in the individualistic, narcissistic manner that fans often witnessed in game action.

The National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, National League Lacrosse and other leagues whose seasons at least partially overlap basketball’s will hope that meandering fans will migrate to their sport. Unfortunately, though, the number of fans of NHRA Drag Racing will not increase or decrease.