But television ratings? In November, the NFL is on three nights a week. Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Pro football grips our fractured society like few things can anymore. The NBA will always lose head-to-head with the NFL. Even hard-core pro basketball fans are hard-pressed to skip an NFL game.
The only impediment to a later NBA start is backlash from FIBA, basketball's world governing body. Its championships are played in the summertime. The Olympics, for example, will be played July 28-Aug. 12 next summer. A July Finals would threaten participation in the international competition.
Maybe you'd have to go with an earlier calendar in certain Olympic years. Maybe franchises would like the conflict; sort of an excuse to keep stars from playing all year long.
Either way, the later calendar start is the way to go for the NBA. Starting with this coming season, should a late settlement arrive and prove Billy Hunter wrong.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.