The NBA has canceled November. Two more weeks of games are gone. And we will have to wait until December at the earliest for games.
No Thursday night game against Boston in mid-November (the only time the Celtics come to town that was not the last game of the season at least). No weekend home game against Chris Paul and the Hornets (or Chris Paul's only time hosting his old team, or whatever it is). No Thanksgiving eve trip to San Antonio. No late November home date agains the Heat (that is two games against Miami wiped out now). No month-ending trip to New York.
If the schedule stays the same, Orlando's season starts December 3 against New Jersey. That should not get the media into a frenzy (especially since the Magic do not visit New Jersey this year).
Likely this is not the schedule that Orlando will face when the season actually gets started in December (if it gets started then... who knows at this point). And things may slow down a bit more without the urgency to save an 82-game schedule.
No meetings are scheduled right now.
That November 13 exhibition game Dwight Howard is hosting might be the only basketball Orlando will see. Hopefully that will be an All Star cast. J.J. Redick and Grant Hill have already declined to participate. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports Howard issued invitations to current Magic players Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Malik Allen, DeAndre Liggins and Justin Harper as well as former Magic players Matt Barnes, Trevor Ariza, Vince Carter, Steve Francis, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.
The big invites included Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. But there is no word if they will play.
Quentin Richardson, Daniel Orton and Chris Duhon have already said they will play. Tickets are on sale now on Dwight Howard's foundation's Web site (d12foundation.com) and at TicketMaster.
If only these fun and games were real and we could talk about actual regular season basketball. This will tide us over, I guess.
Today was a pretty bad day for basketball fans. There was optimism, whether it was warranted or not. And there is no doubt that the two sides are closer to getting a deal done. But they are not there yet. There are a lot of issues that both sides still need to solve. And they are inching closer.
Just not fast enough. So no basketball for a little while longer... hopefully it is just a little while.
Be sure to check out Crossover Chronicles for more on the lockout situation.