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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 125: Dark Opening Night Forces ESPN To Go Into The Vault
Published November 2, 2011
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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Last night’s edition of NBA TV’s “GameTime” opened with an outside shot of AmericanAirlines Center in Dallas and an in-arena announcer saying, “Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the AmericanAirlines Center and today’s celebration of the 2010-2011 NBA Champions, your Dallas Mavericks!” NBA TV’s Matt Winer said, “Here’s what we would be talking about if not for the labor dispute, including the Mavericks on their home floor against the Bulls. Kevin McHale would have taken over the Rockets in his regular-season debut in Utah against the Jazz. The Thunder and the Lakers would have begun Mike Brown’s tenure as the Lakers head coach. All not happening.” NBA TV’s Brent Barry noted, “What an awesome way to start the show.” Winer replied, “A bit of a downer.” NBA TV’s Steve Smith: “You had me way up here, Matt. Now you’re bringing me back down” (“GameTime,” NBA TV, 11/1).
FILLING THE TV VOID: ESPN’s Hannah Storm today asked viewers, “So what did you watch on TV last night? Well, it wasn’t the Mavericks getting their rings or raising that first banner. There was a ‘Bones’ marathon on in place of the NBA. But with all due respect to Dr. Brennan and company, it wasn’t exactly KD versus Kobe. The harsh reality of the NBA lockout hit home for fans and players alike as opening night, quite simply, did not happen. A huge hole in the sports calendar” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/2). ESPN's Jim Rome yesterday said, "The sequel to the best NBA season we have had in years was supposed to kick-off tonight and we’ve got bupkis.” Rome said he would be “switching back-and-forth” between last night’s NHL games. Rome: “But I’m guessing most everybody else will be locked in on freaks hoarding and the C-listers doing the Samba” (“Jim Rome Is Burning,” ESPN2, 11/1).