Looks like the lockout's here.
Not the NFL lockout, which is entering its fourth month and, despite a few positive signs, drags on and on. There's a new lockout in town -- NBA owners have locked out players in that league, too.
The little brother lockout isn't getting as much attention, but one of its particular details jumps out: The NBA and its teams are not allowed to use players' images in their materials, including their websites. That's led to the dullest NBA homepage ever, currently featuring Larry Bird's baggy mug, unremembered 90s center Brad Daugherty and about two dozen car ads.
The player face ban is a legal move, NESN says, to prevent lawsuits from the players. But it isn't the only unexpected restriction that accompanies the lockout. Here are ten other changes the NBA needs to make now that it's locked out the b-ballers.
1. As part of the ban on using players' images, owners, management and coaches are required to forget what players look like.
2. Due to an obscure deal with NBA logo model Jerry West, the NBA must change its logo from a hard-driving West to Rick Barry shooting a free throw.
3. All teams are forbidden from ever awarding Allen Iverson a contract, ever.
4. The NBA will provide fans with free, live online coverage of WNBA games and the heavy-duty sedatives necessary to enjoy them.
5. At least one player from each team is required to release a rap album during the offseason. Likely Nuggets include Chris "Birdman" Andersen, whose on-court intensity translates into 30 tracks of manic bellowing, each only 40 seconds.
6. Owners finally get to refer to most players as "boy."
7. Upcoming NBA video games will be strongly affected; game characters will vaguely resemble real players, but to be safe, NBA 2K12 will be a tense survival shooter instead of a sports simulator.
8. The L.A. Lakers green-light production of home and away "BRYAMT" jerseys, hoping nobody will notice.
9. Coaches and management may not say players' names aloud. Instead, they must refer to players by phrases that rhyme with their names.
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10. Due to strict lockout rules, players are no longer allowed to use their likenesses either.
Updates on both the NFL and NBA lockouts will be available here, as well as elsewhere on the web, newspapers, TV, radio, your toaster and by sticking your head out your window.