Friday, October 14, 2011

NBA Lockout

Bill Simmons does a better job summing up the NBA Lockout than I ever could:

Bill Simmons on the NBA Lockout

I do have a few thoughts, however. For one, the players need to realize that they will not win in this situation. If this turns ugly, David Stern will grow out his lockout beard, dig in, and not give up. The players need to realize that the owners are all rich white billionaires and can afford not to have to pay them, or anyone else who works for the team, for as long as it takes to get a favorable deal for themselves. The players, on the other hand, hear that they make $15 million a year, and spend accordingly, not remembering that their agent and the IRS take a cut, they have to pay for their cars/houses, their families cars/houses, and all of their friends' stuff. At the end of the day, I'd guess that 90% of the NBA lives paycheck to paycheck. Thus, the players have no leverage.

The same thing happened to the players in the NFL Lockout, and at the end of the day, they got schooled on the deal. Yes, the media makes it seem like each side won, but each concession the players fought hard for, the NFL owners in reality didn't care for (like reduced practice time, training camp, etc.). The NFL owners, the most elite group of rich white men in sports, simply knew how to negotiate by fighting hard to lose things they didn't care about. Job well done. Now, the NFL has a new 10 year Collective Bargaining Agreement, but they reduced the amount of revenue the players receive under the deal. Thus, when the NFL redoes its TV contracts in a couple years, its continuous high ratings mean that not only will the NFL's new TV contracts shatter previous records, but they will bring a huge windfall of profit to the NFL ownership, certainly more than they would have received under the previous CBA.

The NBA is going through a similar problem, but it doesn't have the popularity nor income of the NFL. Plus, the owners are actually losing money, but how much of it is their fault is hard to determine. Thus, there is the potential here for a good deal for both sides, as Simmons illustrates. The fact that this hasn't been done yet is ridiculous. Both sides need to put aside their ego and get a deal done, or they'll be squandering a great collection of talent, and more importantly, D Rose's prime. The NBA doesn't have the luxury of fans coming back to it in droves once they end, so GET A DEAL DONE. With David Stern already questioning games through Christmas, time is running out.