The NBA needs basketball

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
5:28
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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I don't even remember what the question was, but David Stern's answer smacked me upside the head.

"Welcome to the NBA!" he blurted out on Wednesday evening's Chris Paul conference call, "where life is a continuous negotiation."

Too true! Too amazingly true. That's all it has been, lately.

Life is a continuous negotiation, especially if you're in Stern's shoes. He's hopscotching from labor talks to Chris Paul talks to Hornets lease talks to Hornets sales talks to new corporate sponsorship talks and on and on. This is what the man does. He wakes up in a negotiating posture.

And what that man does has dominated NBA coverage, and fan conversations, since July.

A little bit of that kind of stuff is fun! Some business intrigue. I loved that movie "Margin Call." I'm sure you have read Michael Lewis, who writes great books like "Moneyball." I had a copy of his book "The Big Short" with me when I spent draft day with agent Dan Fegan. Fegan saw the book and declared that everything Lewis wrote was about value. How to measure value. It's true. And when Lewis tells it, value can be interesting.

But sorting out the value of different things all day every day is also stressful and weird and ... this is the main point ... not nearly as fun as people dunking in each other's faces.

This short little free agency period feels like it has dragged on forever already, because it's just more negotiating. More assessing value. More posturing. That game was tired four months ago. The NBA needs basketball so badly right now.

Henry Abbott | email

TrueHoop, NBA

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