Me: A long time obsessive NBA & Boston Celtics fan. The name Larry Bird was mentioned by 3 different people in speeches at my wedding.
My son Ben: 6-years-old, also loves the Celtics, shooting nerf hoops and watching the NBA with his dad.
Also starring: 8-year-old Simone. Likes basketball, Mini-Pop Kids and wants to be mentioned in a blog.
Scene: Daytime. At home. Living room.
Me: Hey Ben. Come here for a sec.
Ben: (Enters) Yes daddy?
Me: Remember that NBA lockout thing I told you about?
Me: Well, I have some bad news. It looks like they’re not going to play basketball at all this year.
Ben: Noooooooooooo! (pause) Why?
Me: Well, it’s kind of complicated to explain. But the teams and the players can’t figure out how to share all the money they’re making from playing basketball. (pause) Actually, that’s exactly it. I guess it’s not that complicated.
Me: Do you know how much money the NBA makes every year from playing basketball? Guess.
Ben: Ummm. A million dollars?
Ben: A thousand dollars?
Me: No. More than 4 billion dollars per year.
Ben: Whoa!!! (Pause) A billion is more than a million, right?
Me: So even a teeny tiny part of one year of basketball money is more than you and I will probably ever make in our whole lives.
Ben: That’s a lot of money. Like the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. Then they all died off. They’re extinct.
Me: That’s right. Good example. (pause)
Ben: And all the owners and players are really rich, right?
Me: Yes. So what would you call a bunch of really rich people who can’t figure out how to share a lot of money?
Ben: Ummmmm. Unorganized?
Me: (laughs) Yes. Good word. Well done.
Ben: (pause) So when are they going to play basketball again?
Me: Probably next year. Like when you’re 7. And a half. You’ll be in grade 2.
Ben: (sighs) That’s a really, really, really, really long time!
Me: I know. And they haven’t promised that either. It may take even longer.
Me: Don’t worry. You and I can watch lots of other stuff together. We can watch The Canucks, football, soccer…
Ben: (perking up) Soccer? Cool! Can we watch Messi?
Me: Sure! We can read books, play soccer in the front yard and still spend a bunch of time together. We’ll just do different things.
Simone: (Enters) Hey daddy?
Simone: When are you putting my name in your blog?
Me: Right now.
Simone: Cool. (Exits)
Me: And Ben, there is the best basketball tournament ever that college players play. They play it in March and there are so many games they call it “March Madness”. If you still feel like watching basketball.
Ben: Maybe. But what if they cancel that tournament?
Me: That won’t happen. They never even cancelled it during World War II. (pause) Sports isn’t fun when they cancel it, is it?
Ben: No. (pause) Have they ever cancelled hockey or football?
Me: Unfortunately, yes. Baseball too. In fact, there’s a chance we might miss some hockey games in another year or two.
Me: I don’t want that either! But I guess it keeps happening if you’re a sports fan.
Ben: I don’t want to be locked out. I remember the time you were locked out. You locked your keys in the car and we had to come rescue you.
Me: (Laughs) Yes. Thanks again for that.
Ben: (long pause) You know what I love?
Ben: Won ton soup. It’s really yummy.
Me: Me too. Me too.