Where the NBA lockout is concerned, there hasn't been much reason for optimism. The predictions were gloomy, the news has been almost uniformly bad, and even when the sides were talking and there was a glimmer of hope this week, it was reportedly completely crushed by hardline owners led by Paul Allen.
But those glimmers of hope do pop up every so often; you just have to look closely. For example, at the very bottom of Sam Amick's column elsewhere on SI.com, where he mentions that the possibility still exists for a full 82-game NBA season. Amick writes:
While two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled and at least two more are expected to go soon, two sources close to the negotiations said the union believes that Stern assured his ESPN and TNT television partners that, by back-ending the missed games, he can still deliver an 82-game season even if starts in December. The rest of Amick's column isn't particularly positive -- the headline is "League turns talks into disgrace" -- but after talks fell apart on Thursday, the tenor of news made zero games sound more likely than 82. After that, even the remote possibility of a backloaded 82-game schedule is worth noting.