Timing a bit off for No Basketball Association
Perhaps the NBA should have sent out its 2011-12 schedule the old-fashioned way: typed on plain white paper and faxed to media outlets.
Of course, the league would have been advised to use erasable ink.
While the NFL is close to holding an upon-further-review-all-is-good news conference announcing that its lockout is over, the NBA chose to remind of us of what we will be missing when its season doesn't start the first week of November as scheduled.
There is almost no way all of the 1,230 contests the league so proudly announced Tuesday afternoon in a special show on NBA TV are going to be played.
The NBA owners have locked out the players. But unlike the NFL owners, many basketball billionaire fraternity members don't believe missing games will cost them money. They believe the opposite: Missing regular-season games is a good way to save money now and in the future.
If the two leagues are headed in the same direction, they are not traveling at the same speed.
So it was hard not to laugh as the NBA put its best fake face forward to celebrate a host of games that are likely to be canceled.
It is even more comical to go to the league's website every day to see its approach to not actually having any players it chooses to promote.
There is no legal issue preventing the NBA from using player images on its website. Not doing so is more of a tactical move. No one knows the point of this tactic, as it can only hurt the league.
Just before the dream schedule was released, the feature story on NBA.com was a 10-second video clip of Michael Jordan dunking a basketball at a Charlotte Bobcats fantasy camp. Yeah, 48-year-old MJ struggle-dunking is how the league is promoting itself these days.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had to get special permission to attend the retirement announcement of Yao Ming in Shanghai early this morning.
Some league brass think that is ridiculous, but they aren't allowed to say anything about it.
In a league that is famously known as a players' league, team officials have been told not to talk to or about players. The NBA has threatened executives with $1 million fines should they discuss the lockout with media or fans.
That's OK. There isn't much positive to say. Good luck selling season tickets.
At least the league followed the schedule release by finally announcing that the first negotiating sessions since the lockout began three weeks ago have been scheduled for the end of this week.
If the two sides can't reach an agreement in time to play the last 50 games of the season, as they did the last time there was a lockout (1998-99), there might not be a season.
Hits and misses
The good news is the Rockets are almost certainly going to get out of a road trip to Salt Lake City and Sacramento — two places where they have struggled to win in the past - to start the season, which would begin with four of five games away from Toyota Center.
There is some bad with that possible good.
The Rockets have two home games scheduled against nice draws in the NBA champion Mavericks, the in-state rival Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers. But if the season doesn't start before January, local fans will get only one visit from those marquee teams.
But even that isn't a guarantee - no matter what the schedule says.