From a true pessimist’s point-of-view, let’s start with the bad:
NBA.com: The NBA released its slate of five nationally-televised games for Christmas Day. The 2011-12 season will start with games featuring Boston, New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Golden State, and both Los Angeles teams.
Anyone surprised by the teams selected? After a 149-day work stoppage where the top issue was maintaining the viability of the small-market teams, the NBA instantly reverted to its old ways. The games include big markets (NY, SF/Oakland, Dallas, Chicago, LA); top stars (Kobe, KG, Griffin, Melo, Dirk, D-Rose, Wade, and LeBron); and every Finals team from the past 6 years… except Cleveland, for obvious reasons.
For every one time a team like Milwaukee or Charlotte gets on national TV, a team like LA or Boston gets 30+ appearances. Not only is it unfair and not anything like the NFL, it’s the reason — more than anything financial — that the NBA’s second-tier teams have no shot at attracting premier free agents without drastically overpaying.
So let’s be totally clear about one thing. The NBA did NOT shut itself down to ensure that the Bucks, Bobcats, and Kings of the world would have a fair shot at reaching the Finals in the next decade. It was only trying to keep them happy from a dollars-and-cents perspective to the extent that they would throw their votes in support of the new CBA.
Merry Christmas, NBA. Enjoy playing Santa and bringing presents to the kids that already have them.
From the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the Bucks turned their only home preseason date into the 35th Annual MACC Fund Game. Kudos to the Bucks, who already lost the sizable revenue source of the lost preseason schedule, for turning the proceeds over to charity. The fund has raised more than $1.2 million since its inception. From the Bucks’ website:
The Bucks played a major role in the creation of the MACC Fund in 1976. At the time, Bucks radio announcer Eddie Doucette had a son, Brett, who was diagnosed with cancer. Jon McGlocklin was retiring from the Bucks, so he and Doucette decided to create a fund to support research to help children like Brett who had cancer. The MACC Fund was founded during a halftime ceremony on December 10, 1976, honoring McGlocklin’s retirement. Brett Doucette, the MACC Fund’s “first success story’, beat the odds and today he is healthy and happily married.
Like other NBA teams, the Bucks have a brief preseason — just two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The teams will meet December 17 in Minneapolis and then again on December 21 at the Bradley Center for the MACC Game.
Tickets can be purchased here, or at the Bradley Center Box Office (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Twitter: The Bucks should know their four-month, 66-game fate soon. The NBA releases its schedule Tuesday at 6 PM CT on NBA TV. Milwaukee begins regular-season play either Dec. 26 or 27 and ends it April 26, when the NBA concludes its regular season. With any luck, the Bucks will be playing long after that.