Right now, NBA Commissioner David Stern is only cancelling pre-season games. Who cares, right? To borrow a phrase from former star Allen Iverson, “We’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We’re talking about practice!” But soon, we will be talking about cancelling regular season games (currently scheduled to start on November 1) which could result in a shortened season.
Big deal, you say? The NBA seasons is already too long? That maybe true, but you forget about the impact on one important group.
And no, we don’t mean pro basketball groupiess, although those poor girls will have to find new jocks in other sports (indoor soccer anyone?) to pursue during the lockout. No, we’re talking about the guys who make the odds for NBA games in Las Vegas . . . and wherever sports betting is legal. No games, no reason to calculate the odds. No reason to calculate the odds, no reason to pay someone to sit there all day . . . unless you’re taking bets on when the NBA season will start and then they can calculate the odds of when the season will start. Other than that, it’s over. Damn it, someone is going to laid off because of this! Some poor guy (or gal) who used to sit in a back room, looking over player and team stats and coming up with insanely tantalizing odds that somehow always seem to let the house win. Now that’s a skill.
The strike could also impact oddsmakers in other ways, as gambler cash moves over into other sports like hockey, football, and women’s beach volleyball. It will throw an entire little world into chaos . . . for what? In the end, the owners will make money, the players will make money and your favorite team will once again tank so early in the season you’ll actually look forward to the WNBA season to start.
And yet, in a few days, without a new NBA contract, games will be cancelled and at some point the jobs of the little people will be lost. And then, you’re going to have to start learning how to handicap European soccer games to have something to bet on.
Is that what you really want?