On behalf of the entire NBA family (and Mark Cuban) I want to thank you for your patience and support over the past several months. (Don't leave us! Pretty please don't forget we exist.) The new collective bargaining agreement is designed to provide more competitive balance for our league (as you'll soon see with the Lakers adding to their roster
Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Thor, Riggs from Lethal Weapon, Jack Bauer, the corpse of Wilt Chamberlain, and myself) reward strong performances by our players (because nothing rewards success like out-of-league sponsorships and media blackouts on objectivity) and strengthen our game by improving its economics (mostly, bleeding you and everyone you know for more money). We believe this agreement will benefit our teams (especially those with mascots that rhyme with 'Flicks,' 'Flakers,' 'Fleet,' and 'Feltics') players (even you, Matt Bonner! Except not really) and most importantly, fans by making the NBA stronger (and of course by "stronger," we mean, "powerful enough to make you sell your house to raise enough to take a family of 4 to a game.")
In the days and weeks ahead (possibly years, if the players suddenly decide they still want more money) all of us (on the coasts) hope you will enjoy the run-up to the start of the season (as much as it can be enjoyed instead of real professional basketball contests, which is what you should have been watching since November 1st): free agency, training camp, and preseason games (And most especially our new marketing campaign to replace "NBA Cares": "Fans, hand over your wallets."). Each NBA team (though possibly not the Kings) will be hosting special events for fans, so be sure to check your favorite team's website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for details (except for the Raptors, who will be communicating via Mounties). This season we look forward to bringing you more of everything you love about NBA basketball: incredible competition, tremendous excitement, and unending hard work and dedication by the world's best athletes. (Not to mention the exorbitant amount of unjustified primadonnas, constant self-promotion, and the most disgraceful and physically handicapped group of officials in professional sports.)
Thank you for being an NBA fan (and for continuing to feed your dwindling finances into my dying empire). I hope you enjoy the season (or else we may have to implement Operation: Fan-Lockout), which promises to be a most exciting one (unless those boring Spurs find another way to remain competitive, or heaven forbid get yet another #1 pick in the draft).
David J. Stern