The NBA lockout has officially outlasted the NFL lockout, and the average sports fan’s patience has officially been tested. November 16th marks the first time NBA players will miss a pay day, with the average player losing out on $220,000 (Kobe Bryant is missing out on the most, with over a million dollar payday). But while NBA Owners and Players argue over who cares less about the thousands of other employees who are out of work (see: ushers, concession stand workers, trainers, mascots, etc) we fans are left searching for alternatives to take up our time. Here are some suggestions to fill the void that David Stern has left in your heart:

College Basketball: Though the product may not be as crisp, it is basketball nonetheless. Plus, if you are able to look past the occasional 53-41 national title game, there are countless games to follow.

The NFL: This is a mute point since every American watches the NFL anyways.

Actually Go Play Basketball: Lace up your New Balance kicks and go buy a basketball at Wal-Mart, and you’ll be on your way to a game of make-it-take-it against some local 12 year olds. If you can find some 8-ft rims you’ll be able to throw down on them LeBron style, then leave them crying as you drive away… LeBron style.

Catch Up With Your Kids: If this question applies to you in even the slightest, you probably should. You’d be surprised how much smarter than you they have become.

History Channel: A nine hour mini series on String Theory is always a nice way to spend a Saturday questioning the reason for your own pointless existence.

Bottle Up Your Anger: Take all of your bitterness you have towards the NBA situation and bottle it up, ready to release on an unexpected source, like someone who cooks your eggs wrong at a diner. “I didn’t order over-easy! I ordered John Wall’s breakout season with cheese!”

The NHL: The NHL has a lot going for it. Superstars, young talent, rivalries. But there are two types of people: Hockey Fans and Not Hockey Fans, so I am certain you have already picked your side.

Basketball Movies: Hoosiers, Space Jam and Air Bud all dawn my DVD shelf. A fantasy world where animal and cartoons and drunk coaches can all succeed.

What I discovered in writing this is that there is no true substitution for the National Basketball Association. No replacement for Dirk’s kick out leg, Kobe’s competitiveness or LeBron’s excuses. So in hoping that the NBA settles their differences and gets back to playing ball, here’s my last suggestion for a distraction:

Drink. Cheers.

Kyle Ayers is a writer for CBS Local and, as well as a stand up comedian living in New York, Earth.


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