The first steps to the end of hope have been taken with training camps being postponed and exhibition games up till October 15th have been cancelled. I had always stated that when we saw the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat that was the last "real" basketball we would see in terms of the NBA in the 2011 calender year. It seems that very little progress has been made in terms of coming to a deal. The Owners seem to locked in at what they are willing to give to players in terms of a percentage of the total revenues generated by the league.

While we have seen these gloried exhibition games start to get some main stream attention. Honestly if anyone remembers the Vince Carter Charity games that is about all these are. Defence in these games is a myth. Shawn Marion once dropped 50 in on of those charity games. The former Raptor and now Mav even in his prime was never dropping 50 in an actual NBA game. There is really nothing on the line for these players and no one is going to risk getting injured in games such as these.

The depressing reality of things is starting to sink in for people. I have always expected things to go this way and was well aware no last minute miracle was likely to come. That still doesn't make it not hurt as both a fan and someone that covers this league. I have decided to just write occasionally during this time. Lots of people are doing their best to plug along. I just can't do that. If I am going to write or do interviews it is going to be because it is something I feel is worth your time. Aside from the blow by blow of the lockout which is really the only thing that matters right now there is not much of that to write about. Even the blow by blow of the lockout has become pretty much stale. In fact what we are seeing in effect is a stalemate at this point.

I will still chime in every now and then and keep the Dino Nation Blog alive. I look forward to when we can get back to what we do here on a regular basis. It has been a really strange time without having this blog to fill my schedule on a daily basis. Some of those things are good and most are not. I am not getting any younger while this lockout goes on. None of us are. If we get any kind of season at the end of this it would be great at this point. I have been less active on twitter as well. But I was on their last night and someone was asking Charles Oakley something about Peyton Manning and I asked him if he thought the injured star of the Colts would play before the NBA. He said he thought he would. For those that do not know most think Manning might be done for the NFL Season. So the next game he could likely play would be in August. So that would be saying the NBA will not have a season without saying it. Oakley in his career was an active part of the union so take it for what it is worth. But I have always thought of Oakley as a straight shooter and if he thinks a season is unlikely that makes me worry.

Not sure when the next time will be that you hear from me. But keep the faith and at the end of all of this I look forward to things being back to the way they have been for almost 4 years.


Just When You Thought We Were Dead

Kids are back in School so it seems fitting we get back to work in a kinda sorta way. No NBA Season coming anytime soon. Canada has once again failed to make it to Olympics. We here at the Dino Nation Blog are no longer partnered with The Score. Things keep rolling along in this life. Still you got to keep going and keep your head above water. Which is a lot easier to do for locked out NBA players than it is for people trying to eek out a living covering this game.

In terms of The Score it was always my intention that this relationship was going to come to an end for some time. Some that know me personally have been aware of that. The simple fact of it all is the company that I became a part of a few years ago is not the same as it was. At the time the Sports Federation that the Dino Nation Blog was a part of from day one to it's death on August 30th a lot changed with The Score. On that day one The Score was one of the broadcasters of Raptors Basketball. The also carried March Madness in this country. They were the clear network for basketball fans in this country. They also had people like Adnan Virk and Cabbie as part of the mix. Two people that I knew and respected. But things changed with the company over that time such as the eliminated The Score Tonight, Raptors and the NCAA Tournament were gone. So was Adnan and Cabbie. A steady stream of the reasons I wanted to be and was proud to be partnered with them went away. It was going to be a difficult choice to leave but one that I decided to make at the start of this year. However with the NBA Lockout coming not one I was prepared to make until we had that situation sorted out. But The Score decided to end the sports fed which included more than just basketball. So it became a moot point.

There are still some folks that work for them that I will always wish the best for regardless of if I work with them or for the company. Scott Carefoot is the one that brought me into the company through the Sports Fed in the first place. He was the main reason I wanted to remain loyal to it and the company. If not for him this relationship never would have happened in the first place. I thank him for all that he did for me and will always consider him a friend in this business. On the same day I met Scott for the first time was also the day I met this girl named Holly Mackenzie. Little did I know how far Holly would go in terms of covering basketball and the Raptors. She has always been a friendly nice person that I highly respect. No one works harder than Holly and no one loves basketball more than this girl. She has a passion and work ethic that will take her places. Well it already has and even bigger places as the future plays out. She has always been a good friend to me and I will always root for bigger and better things for her. Then there is Tas Melas and the guys on The Basketball Jones. I can only really say I know Tas the others I have met. It was because of knowing Tas that I got to know of this crazy show that is The Basketball Jones. I can not tell you how many laughs they have provided me. I promoted what they did before they were part of The Score and after they were. What they do is down right entertaining and enjoyable regardless of where it is done or happens to be. There are others that I have got to know as well in my time with The Score all who have been great to me. Natasha, Romy and others.

So while I personally have my issues with the direction of the company itself it has nothing to do with my feelings towards the people that I consider friends that are still a part of it. One of the things about the media that is like the sport of basketball is that really the circle of people involved is pretty small in it. People in the media change networks and affiliations just like players, coaches and management types change teams. It is just the reality of things. Just as it is rare for a player or coach to remain with an organization forever the same is true in the media.

The fact that none of us have any real basketball to cover is the bigger issue at the moment. When you hear players like Kevin Garnett talking that if a season is lost then so be it you should be worried. Most are aware of my total lack of interest in the NHL. It wasn't always that way. But my mild interest in the NHL took a complete nose dive when they lost an entire season. That combined with the total disregard of any other sport in this country by the media in general lead me to be pretty much anti-NHL and anti-hockey to a point.

Guess the biggest fear now is how many fans of basketball that were like me in terms of the NHL will be put off by the results of this NBA Lockout. Make no mistake about it when you talk about a labour dispute there is only one winner. Not the owners and not the players it is the lawyers that are always the winners. The losers could be many and I fear that some casual fans of basketball will get tuned out for good like I was in terms of the NHL. Like many were with Baseball in their strike back in 1994.

Instead of talking about a new era for the Raptors with lots of question marks that is not what we are doing and honestly won't be doing for quite some time. I have to admit as much as I was prepared for all that has gone on it still is very depressing. We always tell are kids to work hard and try your best but the harsh reality is no amount of work can change this situation on my part. It is coming up on 4 years of my life that have been dedicated to this blog and covering the Raptors and this sport that I love. Many relationships and marriages don't last that long.

I have been seen less on Twitter and kind of pulled back from things. I hope that is to save my energy for brighter days ahead. These days are pretty dark for all that "Love This Game" and it is pretty hard to sell to anyone that the "NBA CARES" at the moment. When this whole nightmare comes to an end is just guessing at this point.

But long before all this started I said that it needed to happen for the NBA to be better on the other side of things. If after this lockout it means I can honestly believe Demar DeRozan can stick around and be a star with the Raptors and remain it might all be worth it. But the pain to endure to get to that point is not a fun process for anyone. It also may not turn out that way in the end. If that is the case this whole process has been for nothing. Well nothing that matters to fans of the sport. I could careless who makes how much money at the end of the day. That includes myself. Sure it would be nice to make money and have a good life. But ultimately life is what you make of it. Money is only one part of it. The thing I miss more than anything is the people that become a part of your life when you do this. From the people I work with, to the people that read this blog. That is what I will miss most of all. The fact their will be no NBA Games to talk about is a distant second.