By Shawn Muller –

(CBS) Is anyone else sick of lockouts?

It was bad enough that sports fans had to deal with the NFL lockout for what seemed like an eternity, and now, the NBA lockout has just passed the two month mark.

I think we all kind of figured the NFL would get a deal done before the regular season started and, sure as sunshine in the Caribbean, it did.  The 2011 NFL season is set to begin as planned tonight, with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.

I hope—and expect—the NBA to follow suit and get a deal done before their regular season begins on November 1st.

Now, I know the NBA may not be as popular as the NFL for many people, and the luster of the league may have faded a bit since the days of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, but there is a great core of young superstars like Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard that have the chance to help the league return to a level close to its past.

For me personally–as a Chicago Bulls fan– I cannot wait for the NBA season to get started.  The end of last season left such a sour taste in my mouth that as soon as the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, I was counting down the days until Chicago got to meet the Miami Heat on the court once again.

It was almost as if the Heat was a sandlot bully and they had taken my favorite toy.

The 2010-2011 season the Bulls had was one of the most enjoyable I can ever remember watching.  We got to see Derrick Rose blossom into a bona-fide superstar on his way to earning his first—and probably not his last—Most Valuable Player Award.  We had a head coach in Tom Thibodeau—in his first ever stint as a head coach—win NBA Coach of the Year.  We saw a team battle injury after injury and yet somehow end the regular season with the league’s best record at 62-20.  But, more importantly, we saw a rebirth of the Chicago Bulls franchise.

After years and years of mediocrity, it felt good to say—without a question—that the Bulls were back!

Yes, the 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls team was a pleasure to watch — no doubt about it.  But ever since the team was ousted in the Eastern Conference Finals by that circus act from Miami, I have felt this void.  It felt like something was missing.  It was almost as if the Heat was a sandlot bully and they had taken my favorite toy away from me.

It just didn’t make sense.

How could a team that had played so well all season long, a team that played so disciplined all season long, and a team that had defied the odds all season long like the Bulls, come up short in the end?  Title number seven was ripe for the picking and the Bulls did their best to crap the bed when it mattered most….against the one team I couldn’t stand.

Needless to say, there is some unfinished business in the 2011-2012 season that needs to be attended to by the boys that call the United Center home.  So let’s get this lockout thing figured out and start talking about basketball, not what happens inside a board room.


I want my toy back, Miami!

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Shawn Muller

Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at Read more of his blogs here.

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