Listening to sports television and radio shows, along with the general consensus of fans, it is becoming clear that the NBA lockout is having a minimal effect on people. The majority aren't outraged or feeling emotionally tied to one side or the other - be it the owners or players.
In fact, people really just don't care.
There are several reasons for the lack of concern. Topping that list is the NFL season which is five games in, followed by college football and an outstanding postseason display by Major League Baseball. The NHL just began its season and MMA/Boxing are filling whatever little down time there is for sports fans.
It is easy to understand why no one is making a fuss about two weeks of the NBA regular season being cancelled. Most won't care if it is cancelled through the end of January.
But if you live in a city not named Los Angeles, San Antonio, or Miami, you should be very concerned as a fan of the sport of basketball.
The Lakers, Spurs and Heat are made up of superstar veterans who will be ready to go whenever the season starts. But there are plenty of teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and even the Washington Wizards that could face a tremendous setback the further the lockout is prolonged.
For Washington fans, it should be a particularly upsetting time. For the first time in decades, they have a bona fide superstar talent in John Wall. He has the mentality, talent, and personality to be both a leader and a top five player. Each week that goes by without him practicing within the Wizards' system and with his teammates is time lost - time fans or the organization won't get back.
Wall's future with the team is unclear. He could be here for the duration of his contract and then leave, or he could extend and stay seven or eight years, maybe more. It is hard to say at this point because he is only entering his sophomore season - assuming there is one. But the concern isn't so much about Wall being prepared and ready. I can assure you that he will be. It's who he is.
The emphasis should be on keeping him happy with a cast of guys around him that are willing to put in the time and effort to be the best that they can and maximize their potential. Wall's nature is highly competitive and he won't be staying in D.C. if the team continues to struggle for the next few years. That leads to the problem with the lockout.
Do I think that Wizards' players outside of Wall have the work ethic of someone like Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade? No chance. None. That should worry fans because it has been seen time and time again that players return from lockouts overweight, out of shape, and with diminished skills. See: Shawn Kemp.
If the Wizards don't improve this season, Washington will be one step closer to losing the diamond that they landed in Wall. The longer the lockout goes, the more likely it is that the players that surround Wall will have a drop off from last year and that could spell doom down the road.
This isn't a scenario unique to Washington. The more games we lose off of the regular season, the worse it will be for the league as a whole and specifically, for teams trying to get better.