Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My 2 Cents on the NBA Lockout

  I know, we're all sick and tired of hearing about the NBA Lockout. Most people hit their limit a while ago. And after yesterday's developments (where the season was seemingly lost when the players decided to decertify their union), I've seen more, "I'm done with the NBA" statements than I can count. But I'm curious about who people are mad at. The owners, or the players? Or maybe fans are just upset in general?

  The common punchline I've seen over and over again since July is: "millionaires arguing with billionaires." And yes, that's a true statement. But my feeling is that folks are holding the players more responsible than owners for the disaster that is the 2011-1012 NBA season. "Shut up and play", right? After reading more 'the players are so greedy' sentiments than I could stand, here I am, hopefully putting a different perspective out there.

  So here are my two cents.

  Admittedly, there are several things about the NBA Lockout that I do not understand. Nor do I care to understand. But here are some things I do know: the owners and players are arguing over revenue sharing (otherwise known as BRI, or Basketball Related Income), aka how much of the gigantic pie ($4 billion pie to be exact) each side should get. And they are arguing over the salary cap; whether it should be a hard cap, soft cap, or flex cap.

  I know I am over-simplifying things. But those are the major issues, and where the snags have been hit.

Deron Williams has been playing in Turkey during the lockout.
  Obviously, I think the lockout stinks. And it's even worse that we're going to lose an entire season of basketball because the millionaires and billionaires couldn't come to a compromise. But I understand where the players are coming from.  And not because I'm a professional basketball player (my situation is NO WHERE near an NBA player's financial situation)!

  Don't forget, this is a LOCKOUT, not a STRIKE. The players want to play, and the owners won't let them. Because the owners made poor business choices in past years (by giving, yes, GIVING huge contracts to players), they are now losing money. So to keep this from happening even further, the owners want to change the rules of the game (change the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement they agreed to in 2005), and potentially take money back from players they were already promised (through their contracts). What's the point of signing a contract if you don't have to carry out the terms of the contract? Again, the problem started with owners doling out HUGE contracts in years past, in my opinion. And now they're regretting it. Bad way to run a business, if you ask me.

  In my opinion, it's not about the money now. It's the principle, and fighting about what is the right thing to do as businessmen. Sure, all we see are millionaire players upset that they might not make as much money. But if the players give into the owners, and take a bad deal now, it shows the owners they can essentially do anything they please, and don't have to honor contracts when they sign them. Take a bad deal now, and each time the CBA needs to be renewed, the owners take more and more of the pie. As it stands, the previous share of the pie was 57-43% for the players. The owners initially offered 47-53%, and that figure has been negotiated up to 51-49%.

Nicolas Batum is playing in his native France during the lockout.
   If it was about the money now, the players would take the deal that is on the table. Take the money now, and play. Remember, they're not getting paid during the lockout! I keep reading about the greedy players, the greedy players... How long is a typical NBA career? I'd say an average career might last 7 or 8 years. Not very long. If they were truly being greedy, they would take the deal (and the money) now, and never even think about the future generations of players. So again, if the players take a bad deal now, it will just continue to get worse for them down the road.

  I do understand how the players receive the brunt of the blame from fans. They are paid more than enough already, aren't they? And lots of other people are affected by a lost season, not just players and owners. People who work at the arenas, etc...have lost their jobs because of the lockout. And in our economy now, we are seeing jobs tougher and tougher to come by.

  But don't forget, the NBA is entertainment. We have overpaid for our entertainment for years. No different than movie stars, baseball players, football players, and so on. They all want a fair shake. That's all I feel the NBA players want too. The owners were hoping the players would give in, and take a bad deal because they we counting on the players wanting the money now!

  Lucky for us, basketball goes on! There are lots of other ways to get your basketball fill: college, high school, Euroleague! How are you going make up for the missed NBA season?


Post a Comment