The cancellation of the 2011-2012 season of National Basketball Association seems imminent. Negotiations broke down earlier this month between the NBA Players Union and NBA owners despite the fact there will be billions of dollars of losses in potential salaries and revenue (and because of the fact no one involved in the deliberations apparently is, or was a fan of Major League Baseball).
This all means Kobe Bryant’s already lost seven-figures’ worth of wages, NBA TV is filling its programming slate with old sports flicks and classic games, and the players all have a lot of free time on their hands.
And if the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike taught us anything, it’s that members of a union with a lot of free time on their hands who are unable to work their regular jobs because of some sort of involuntary work stoppage love to create videos for the internet.
To be clear, NBA lockout videos are nothing new. Seth Meyers was conceiving of remedial tasks for out of work NBA stars to perform since his hosting gig at the ESPYs in July and Funny or Die has been shooting installments of its Lockout League – the conversation Funny or Die’s know-nothing NBA correspondent has with the Houston Rockets’ Kyle Lowry about the privatization of the space program is genius – periodically for the past few months. But those were conceived to make light of the league’s situation and were produced by third party comedic entities. The Nick and JaVale Show is different.
The slice of life video blog features charmingly cocksure Washington Wizard teammates Nick Young and JaVale McGee doing whatever it is they do. Sometimes that’s basketball. Other times its Benihana or community service. And at least once its eating a spoonful of cinnamon.
A company called Ford Production Films takes care of the series’ shooting and editing responsibilities, crafting compelling three-minute-or-less episodes showcasing great soundtracks and what it’s like to be a professional athlete and millionaire in your mid-20s with the very real prospect of losing your day job.
If anything good comes from the NBA lockout, it’ll be more of Nick and Javale’s videos. Check ‘em out. And if the season does get cancelled, expect to see a lot more familiar faces from professional basketball make cameo appearances and starring roles in online video entertainment.