by Irv Soonachan / @SidelineOB
On an unassuming side street in Fresno, Calif., a couple miles from the hustle and bustle of the city’s downtown, sits the person who may know more about the NBA lockout than anyone else.
Rhoda Goldfarb-Palowski, who prefers to be called by her professional name, Miss Sage, has focused her psychic powers on NBA affairs for decades now, and burnished her reputation by predicting the results of 15 of the last 20 NBA Finals and at least five Larry Brown firings.
Last week we provided Miss Sage with a snip of hair from James Dolan’s goatee and a pair of Shawn Marion’s game-used socks to connect her with both sides of the labor dispute. After meditating for several minutes, she kindly agreed to provide SLAMonline with her exclusive NBA lockout predictions. They are provided below:
June 30: NBA owners lock out players over labor dispute
July 6: LeBron James ponders league official Adam Silver’s negative comments about his 10 percent raise; concludes the lockout is all about him. Issues statement thanking the little people.
July 8: NBA officials make “off the record” statements blaming lockout on players being “uppity,” without actually using the word uppity. (1)
July 8: Players union responds with a press release saying they’re just dealing with the situation one insult at a time.
July 10: Players union asks veterans to “do what they can” to help lower-salaried players. Steve Nash and Jason Kidd decide to stage fundraising game. LeBron James realizes request was all about him; agrees to make a brief appearance at the fundraiser but only if Maverick Carter is made official organizer of the event.
July 11: Kevin Garnett takes redeye to New Orleans to procure a David Stern voodoo doll and a pack of surgical needles.
July 15: First major article published about remote possibility of fan anger, player retirements, rise of Chinese league, and defections to European teams ruining the NBA for years.
July 16: NBA threatens to pull media pass of whoever writes the story first.
July 21: Peer pressure and badgering from Stern forces Michael Jordan to make statement of solidarity with NBA owners.
July 28: Nike launches new Jordan brand shoe called “Air GOP,” just in time for the start of back-to-school shopping. Nike claims complaints about the $250 price tag and lack of quality are unpatriotic. Women’s line called “Air Condi” also planned.
August 1: Owners publicly contemplate walking out of negotiations because of players “not knowing their place.” Players union responds with statement that they’re taking the lockout one negotiating session at a time.
August 4: Kevin Garnett notably absent during day’s negotiations. David Stern is plagued by mysterious piercing pains and cuts session short.
August 5: NBA owners retain little-known Washington communications firm G.G. Liddy & Associates.
August 9: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports breaks story about certain unnamed owners urging an end to the lockout. ESPN’s Ric Bucher, while writing the same story, gets up to use the men’s room. Upon returning he finds his story gone, and the file replaced by a copy of Bambi.
August 12: ESPN runs story about spoiled basketball players having to sell their Bentleys.
August 13: Kenny Anderson announces he’s incredibly available for interviews.
August 14: First report of NBA player turning an ankle during summer workout leads to rampant speculation about injuries during partial, strike-shortened training camp and compressed regular season.
August 20: Fox News, ABC and ESPN Radio mention players’ alleged caviar intake during the lockout.
September 3: Media reports surface about the possibility of a new league forming. Isaiah Thomas, Mark Cuban, and W. Mark Felt are rumored to be involved.
September 4: Yahoo! publishes story documenting greater concern by owners over length of the lockout.
September 7: ESPN runs story on the tough road and many obstacles faced by NBA owners, complete with B-roll of Michael Heisley and Jerry Reinsdorf staring contemplatively into space.
September 12: Pacers owner Herb Simon suggests hiring a high-powered mediator like Earl Warren to settle the dispute.
September 23: Dallas Mavericks teammates DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Terry and Brian Cardinal reportedly spotted at Rick Ross concert. New York Daily News reports they are unconcerned with the lockout.
September 24: NBA owners Clayton Bennett, Robert Sarver and Leslie Alexander spotted at Ted Nugent concert. ABC reports owners need relaxation after stressful negotiating sessions, shows footage of them dancing to “Yank Me, Crank Me.”
September 26: New York Daily News reports Brian Cardinal seen at Ted Nugent concert.
Week of October 10: The six largest medical marijuana growers all report record-breaking third quarter earnings; cite unexpected rise in prescriptions for calf strains and sore quadriceps. NBA players issue statement that they’re just taking the lockout one calf strain at a time.
October 21: G. Gordon Liddy arrested in Argentina. List found in his pocket includes the names Billy Hunter, Kevin Garnett, W. Mark Felt, Tony Randall and Adrian Wojnarowski. LeBron James implies his name was on the list, but his inclusion is too explosive for the police to mention.
October 25: Rumors circulate that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is pondering entrée into the medical marijuana business.
November 21: LeBron James tweets that he will be at the next day’s negotiating session.
November 22: LeBron James stands alone in a corner of the conference room during negotiations with owners, waiting for Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter to cede the floor to him.
November 25: ESPN’s Marc Stein reports lockout nearing end.
December 1: Lockout officially ends.
December 1: LeBron James tweets a thank you to the little people.
December 3: Just in time for holiday shopping, Nike teams with Rockport on new LeBron “Game 6 Edition” shoe, made for maximum comfort while standing around the perimeter.
December 20: One week into the regular season, a compressed schedule forces teams to go deeper into the bench. With extra minutes and weaker defenses, two rookies score 20 points in a game on the same night, prompting a spate of articles about the 2011 draft class being better than expected. “I keep in touch with a lot of the rookies, and we all talk about how everyone underrated us,” says Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. “But right now we’re just taking it one game at a time.”
–(1) This prediction came true, albeit a few days before Miss Sage said it would, during David Stern’s press conference at the beginning of the lockout.
–Goldfarb-Palowski isn’t the only member of her family to be involved in the NBA. Her brother, Monty Goldfarb, is the official hairpiece provider for New Jersey Nets television broadcasts.
— Any relation between Miss Sage and actual events are purely coincidental, and like an offseason calf strain, her predictions should be used for recreational and entertainment purposes only.
This is satire. Any attempt to pretend it is not satire will be as indefensible as this.