Returned home this evening from a vacation that had me offline for days at a time to find the end of the NFL lockout saturating the news the past few days. I couldn't help but chuckle at the football owners and players joining hands and apologizing to fans for all of the grief they put them through the past few months.
Are you kidding me?
The NFL didn't even come close to missing a meaningful game. The offseason player movement is interesting but again, no games were missed and training camp is barely behind schedule. If only the NBA could come close to repeating a comparable schedule for fixing their lockout situation we'd all be jumping for joy.
As for news about the NBA and the Pacers, one story that drew my interest was Lance Stephenson's agent Alberto Ebanks talking about Stephenson playing in China or Italy during the lockout. While I'm tired of every player at least considering playing overseas during the lockout (who wouldn't consider it?) even though the reality for most established stars won't be ideal as they envision, I would LOVE to see Stephenson sign with a team and earn some run.
Stephenson has been taking a crash course in professionalism since being drafted a year ago. With no one at the Fieldhouse available to hold his hand, Stephenson is on his own to put what he's learned to the test. All reports from the Indy Pro Am league have been positive about Stephenson, only making news with his great play on the court.
Playing in China or Italy or wherever overseas, would be another great opportunity for Stephenson to show he can treat the game and his profession like a grown ass man. There will be challenges without the trappings of the NBA. New owners, older players, playing conditions, accommodations, referees and rival fans are just a few potential sources of adversity Stephenson would have to work through while keeping his composure and making the most of his chance to develop his game.
Who knows what would happen, but I'd love to see how it all plays out. That is of course, if the NBA can't solve their own labor issues.