Who Wins this NBA Season? Everyone! (Hopefully)

Who benefits most from the 66-game, lockout-shortended ’11-12 NBA season?

Everyone.

The Players: Losing 12 games of physical and mental wear-and-team is nothing to scoff at. Sure, “mature” teams like Boston, Los Angeles and even Dallas will have a chance to be spry for the long, arduous playoffs, which should help them a tad more. But this morning, the knees of every player are screaming, yeah!

The Owners: This really becomes a guinea-pig season that will determine just how well the new CBA works. Big market owners will do well enough financially, while small-market teams will “lose” less $, if they lose at all.

Fans: The 66-game season essentially becomes a “sprint” to the playoffs–okay maybe a 400-meter run. Either way every game becomes more meaningful, more compelling, more critical. That had been one of the knocks NBA critics like to trot out. At least for this season, keep that one in your pocket.

Season-ticket holders: I’m not crying over having to pay for 16 fewer games at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden. Jim Dolan jacked-up prices an average of 10 percent for this season.

NBA workers: On this one, my fingers are crossed. I’m hoping that after all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted, once the players and owners have ratified the agreement – that both parties will do their best to make the working-class segment of the NBA “family” whole – paying them for an entire 88-game season rather than a shortened one.

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