Ever since the lockout became a reality, there have been predictions, reports, and implications that the NBA may not play a 2011-12 season. It's a sad idea to contemplate, but one that has been taken seriously.
For the most part, it's been considered as a worst-case scenario. But don't tell that to Ben Gordon, who thinks the lockout could last two whole seasons. From Vince Ellis for the Detroit Free Press (via EOB):
He sat in on labor negotiations late last month that Gordon on Tuesday described as a "waste of time."
And the Pistons' shooting guard thinks it's only a matter of time before more games are canceled.
"I think there will be more games missed," Gordon said when reached by phone as he was driving to Chicago. "I expect it might be a year or two. I realized that when I was listening to both sides during the negotiations. I think there will be a lot of games missed and more money is going to go down the drain.
"I'm preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best."
Gordon doesn't seem optimistic whatsoever about the direction of negotiations, which suggests one of three things. First, it's entirely possible that he's one of the few players being totally honest here, and that these meetings have been wholly unproductive. That seems wrong, though, mostly because several reports have come out that progress is being made on issues such as the mid-level exception. Those are relatively minor resolutions, but these problems must be solved to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
The second possibility is that Gordon just didn't pay attention during negotiations. I will disregard this option for now, because I don't want to be a mean person.
Last, Gordon may be bluffing to force the owners into thinking that players may actually sacrifice two seasons to get the deal they want. If this is the case, then Gordon is perhaps the worst bluffer in history. Bluffing doesn't work when the result itself is so extreme. No one will let the NBA miss two seasons, because it would maim fan interest, force players and owners to lose ridiculous amounts of money, and turn professional basketball into a minor sport. Suggesting that players would miss two seasons is the equivalent of a poker player betting all his chips on every hand. It's just not believable.
I sincerely hope that Gordon came up with this idea on his own, because if it's a union strategy then it speaks very poorly of their leadership. It makes no sense at all.
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- Ben Gordon