The NBA's Locked Outs: The Reporter

The NBA season was scheduled to start this week, but the owners and players have yet to reach a deal, meaning that the Denver Nuggets aren't warming up at the Pepsi Center anytime soon. Which made us wonder: Who else is "locked out"?
November 2011

Benjamin Hochman
Occupation: Denver Post Nuggets beat writer
How you are going to get your Nuggets coverage for the original season opener on November 3: “My buddy has an Xbox. Maybe I will go over and play a video game with Portland versus Denver. Who knows, I may write a blog with a game story about our video game, instead of the actual game.”

Benjamin Hochman’s days should be filled with long hours at the Pepsi Center interviewing Ty Lawson about a roughed-up ankle or recording George Karl’s quote of the day. But the lockout drove Lawson to Lithuania for the Euroleague basketball season and left Hochman with, well, nothing to do.

As a reporter and a part-time stand-up comedian, Hochman is chronicling his free time in his video blog, “Tales from a Locked-Out Sports Writer.” The photo above is from Hochman's last adventure: yoga. “The idea is that I cover the NBA, but because there is no NBA, I have nothing to do,” he says. “The next video I’m doing is ‘hooping.’ Not referring to basketball, but the hippie-type activity where people go to the park around dusk and hula-hoop multiple hoops. There is some type of fire apparatus and dancing is involved, hopefully.”

Empty locker rooms and quiet gym floors sent Hochman out to scour other Colorado activities to help fill the daily sports pages. Like a softball league reserved for athletes of the 70+ age group or the story of a high school baseball athlete who pitched a no-hitter and hit four home runs just days after his mother’s death. “I adore the NBA and covering it is my life, but I consider myself versatile enough to approach and attack different stories," he says. "Somebody would have been assigned those stories, but it wouldn’t have been me because I would have been covering a Nuggets practice.”

Until Hochman can get back to his basketball beat, he says he will miss “capturing the larger-than-life personalities of the Nuggets,” but is willing to wait because the outcome of negotiations will affect the NBA’s long-term vitality. “A lot of fans and people in the NBA are angry,” he says. “But you have it look at it—at the NBA—as a huge spectrum of years. The year 2011 is just a small dot. If they don’t get this fixed here, in 2011, it will affect generations of the NBA. Who knows what could happen.”

—Image courtesy of Benjamin Hochman

Day One: The Player

Day Two: The Reporter

Day Three: The Fans

Day Four: The Businesses

Day Five: The Coaches

Day Six: The Restaurant