The last thing I want to see is the NBA in a long labor lockout after next season.
And while I understand the arguments from both owners and players, it doesn't change the fact that their lockout would create a negative impact on me and you: the fans. For better or worse, the NBA is a big part of me, and I would rather not live an entire year without it.
The irony here is palpable. The fans generate all the millions of dollars that the owners and players are squabbling over, and yet, as the NBA's lifeblood, we have no say. Our voices will never be heard. And quite frankly, the owners and players probably don't care one iota about how we feel anyway. They know that whatever bitterness we feel will only be temporary.
To be clear, I have no problems about the size of the NBA's pie. I understand that Kobe Bryant should be paid $24.8 million a year. Few people have ever been able to match Kobe's skill on the court. And the fact that he is watched by people across all corners of the globe raises his value significantly. The way the NBA can economically capitalize on their unique talents is admirable, but the way in which the NBA dismisses its fans when it actually matters is disgraceful.
I am sick and tired of all those self-promotional "NBA Cares" commercials that play incessantly throughout the season. Ditto when players end their speeches about how much they love and appreciate their fans. Don't get me wrong, I admire the NBA for its charity work and the players for thanking us too.
Nonetheless, the hypocrisy is difficult to ignore.
If you truly care, allow our voices to be heard. Consider giving us a 10 percent reduction in ticket prices in case of an NBA lockout. Let the players know they will be visiting even more schools and hospitals in case of an NBA lockout. Make the owners understand that they will be financing new college scholarships in case of an NBA lockout.
And for the love of almighty, independent of a lockout, find a fair way to allow fans to move down from the clouds and into the lower levels when stadiums find themselves half-empty!
If the lockout must happen, so be it. But please show your fans some dignity and at least grant us an NBA cancellation with some semblance of fan representation.
Ken writes for NBA-Analytiks at www.nba-analytiks.com