It’s never going to work.
The new NBA contract is just overmatching itself like the Washington Wizards versus the Miami Heat.
Undersized like posting up Shaq.
A dumb idea like becoming a Clippers fan.
But Tuesday the NBA and the Player’s Union founded a hot-off-the-presses bargaining contract lasting a grand total of six years, one year longer than the previous contract, which expires June 30.
Six years of peace for the small fees of a lowered salary cap, shortened contract lengths and, most notably, a 19-year-old age limit to keep those pesky high schoolers from getting jobs besides bagging your Cuban bread at Publix.
It won’t come close to working like Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant: the sequel. Why keep going if things fell apart last time?
Those notable high school players, with their massive height and large hands, now have to go do horrible things instead of join the stardom of the NBA, like — cue sinister music — go to college.
Now that there is a requirement for players to either sit around a year or two or get an education, something extraordinary might just happen.
The NBA may just get better.
Sure, it’s glitzy and glamorous now, but what about those players that didn’t go to college? What about those long-legged freaks who ignored the calls from UNC coach Roy Williams?
What could it have been to see LeBron James or Tracey McGrady in March Madness? To see them wear a basketball hoop netting like a crown to prove to NBA teams that he is really King James?
Now, we’ll know.
We’ll see what happens when the kids go off to college where they belong, making March Madness even more maddening.
College basketball becomes prime and the NBA goes back to prestige.
But there’s still a flaw in the contract.
A tiny one. A young one. The new contract lets 19-year-olds into the NBA.
Squeaky-voiced, pimple-faced teens who can barely buy cigarettes and lotto tickets — forget drinking a brew after a stunning victory in the playoffs in April — will be filling your television screens and highlight reels. They will beg in commercials for you to buy their shoes and drink their soft drinks.
Not much different from now, yes, but this new contract won’t stand. In six years, David Stern will be on another sequel poster.
Players younger than Malcom in the Middle — players barely starting puberty — will want to be in the high ranks. They’ll want Nike contracts. They’ll want to push Sprite like Bob Barker pushes neutering pets on retired old people.
So what will happen? A strike? An embarrassing lockout like the NHL? Players refusing to go to college?
Probably not, but the NBA will never get better if the players are too young.
They need experience away from the court. To grow, to remove the pimples from their face, to become men on the court and gentlemen off.
The contract won’t work.
At least there’s always the sequel.