We've heard for months that the lockout will bring on some tough times for the NBA, with franchises and players alike needing to cut back. But there's a difference between talk and action. Now that the lockout is a reality, we're learning just how dark things can get.
The cutbacks started Thursday night, in fact, with a new version of NBA.com. Usually, updated league websites bring on a bunch of new virtual bells and whistles. However, as you can see from the screenshot above, NBA.com is now a shadow of its former self.
When 12:01 ET hit, the NBA.com homepage turned into the Internet's version of a broadsheet, with just two columns and absolutely no links, internal or otherwise.
The left column has lockout news, including a press release from the league and two informational pieces by Steve Aschburner. The right column is short blurbs of WNBA news. It's tempting to call the new NBA.com a return to the old days of the Internet, but things were never this dull. If this were a callback to the mid-'90s, we could at least get a few animated gifs of a cartoon Michael Jordan and a midi of "Roundball Rock."
Team websites are not much better. As we noted on Monday, the lockout has caused teams to scrub all player-specific content off their sites. For proof, check out the sites of the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers. I hope you like cheerleaders, ticket plans and merchandise, because that's all you're likely to see.
In the grand scheme of things, the lack of fresh content on NBA.com is not a huge deal. Still, it's a sign of things to come.