It is I, again, your buddy Basketball. The last time I wrote, I told you to not worry about the lockout. I told you eventually good sense (read: money) would prevail, and your labour dispute would end in time to save the Winter Classic.
As it turns out, I was off by a few weeks. In my complicated mathematical formula that had your lockout ending by early December, I did not give enough weight to the significant Jeremy Jacobs factor. Apologies. I have contacted Nate Silver in an effort to perfect that formula.
To the matter at hand: You are about to go through a shortened season, just as I did a year ago. Now, we are both familiar with this concept from the ’90s. Your 1995 regular season was shortened to 48 games; my 1999 regular season was shortened to 50 games. Both ended in championships by teams (the New Jersey Devils and the San Antonio Spurs) beginning dynasties that their leagues never really figured out how to sell. Coincidence? Almost surely. But perhaps we can blame those “boring” winners for all of the lockouts that followed. That logic seems unflawed.