The National Basketball Trade (nee Players) Association got jokes

Ball Don't Lie

"Error 404: Basketball not found. Please be patient as we work on resolving this. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Hahahahaha.

Very funny, cool and Internet-savvy placeholder home page, National Basketball Players Association. It's like I have always said — in the darkest times, jokes become more important than ever.

[Related: NBA players react to union's decision to disband]

It is critical to maintain a sense of humor when a 137-day lockout that followed more than 2 1/2 years of unsuccessful talks on a new collective bargaining agreement results in NBA players deciding to dissolve their union and become a trade association in pursuit of an antitrust suit against NBA owners (or, at least, new leverage in labor discussions in which David Stern said last Thursday the NBA was "through negotiating") that threatens the loss of the 2011-2012 season. For sure, in the context of the world of an American popular sport, that constitutes a pretty dark time.

The latest development in the NBA labor saga is a tough pill to swallow, even if you are the kind of fan who is able to appreciate that unions have jobs to do, is willing to grant that owners have a right to pursue profits in exchange for their outlay, and can create the proper level of emotional detachment and intellectual distance to respect that this is a multifaceted issue more complicated than the popular framing of "billionaires versus millionaires." So, sure, jokes. Yes, please. Smashing, baby!

Although, maybe don't make it seem like the joke is on us? Even though it, y'know, is?

Here is a joke that I would like to contribute to this discussion.

An NBA fan walks into a bar. He says ouch, because it is a bar and walking into it hurts him, and the whole thing makes for a pretty good gag. But he keeps walking into it, even though it keeps hurting him and the bar doesn't move or flex or emote; it just stays there and holds its place, its immobility and inevitability a sort of tight, tacit mockery. He continues to walk into it, mostly because he's always known that inside that bar (which is actually a whole different kind of bar, which is the whole thing!) he can exhale and enjoy his chosen method of having fun in a world that too infrequently affords opportunities for that. And his forehead is bruised and he's got a splitting headache, but he likes what he likes and he wants what he wants, so he keeps walking until he knocks himself out. The bar never moves; it just waits for him to wake up, dust himself off, patch his wounds and come back to it, because it knows he's a sucker.

Get it? Yeah, me neither.

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