As long as I can remember, the NBA regular season has been 82 games. However, play was done in late spring, and the draft in May. Now it seems that the NBA season drones on indefinitely and decides very little, and professional basketball continues deep into May and on into the first part of June. This after starting in October. Include the draft and "silly season," and the NBA seems impossibly diluted, droning on and on, and having no real off season. In addition, NBA players have proven to be impossibly human. Young, frequently clunk headed, one dimensional, tattooed, promiscuous, and for some (not myself--the annoying manage to come in all colors), too Black. Yes, I have to think for some, the NBA's majority Black make up is an issue.
So, we have a lock out by NBA owners who say they cannot afford the players' salary demands. I don't have specific figures but we are talking a substantial separation in the numbers. No where close. Further, there is little agreement on things like salary caps and luxury taxes. Unlike football, there are several franchises on shaky financial ground, and not a few with uncertain ownership. However, unlike football, people are not trampling down the door to buy an NBA franchise.
The NBA has encountered rough times before, but they risk with a long lockout/strike losing the fan base--especially since some fans may already have issues with the way the league has been running these past years. The players especially may need to be careful not to kill the goose with the golden eggs. Meantime, I probably won't miss it.