NBA Lockout 2011: A Sad State of Affairs

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NBA Lockout 2011: A Sad State of Affairs
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
NBA basketball June 2011

There have been a ton of articles written. Much chatter expended. Much frustration encountered. Much discussion on competitive balance. Posturing of the worst magnitude.  Issues couched in terms of greed.

Hey, show a man greed and he's the devil's every time. Much large market vs. small market rivalry and untold jealousy.

Funny, the small-market Spurs have won all four of their title appearances and yet they are the objects of constant derision by national media, local radio shows and other teams' fans. Rather than being applauded for what they have achieved, they are vilified for bringing down the ratings!

And yet when all is said and done, the NFL (the other business currently engaged in a work stoppage, but is it really since no games are played from February to August?) will emerge relatively unscathed. The NBA—that's a different matter entirely.

Stern is the "Man with the Iron Fist" to use the title of Alexander Dumas' book. Although, I am sure he didn't have Stern in mind when he wrote it.

How to negotiate in good faith when for the last two years the NBA has been advancing the lockout as the ONLY way to solve their issues?

Casual fans were very much of aware of this. How this does that is beyond me. Why are players being asked to cover the stupidity of owners who made regrettable decisions?

It's difficult to believe that a overwhelming number of teams are sieving money.  I am sure a few legitimately are.

As a fan, my interest has become piqued by that statement. I read an article the other day that spoke of tax depreciation and the New Jersey Nets. While I cannot pretend to understand, it left me wondering if this is a true money loss or a figure that is moved around the general ledger to appear on the team's financial statement?

And they say Hollywood employs creative accounting! 

How does a team make three straight finals appearances, winning two of three, losing monies beyond repair?  How does a team afford to bring two additional superstars to a team to make a championship run? Is it the players' fault that the owner in Toronto or Cleveland didn't engineer a trade to get someone in return?

Is it the players' fault a middling player is making significant monies and playing so very few minutes? Yes, New York was able to employ Carmelo Anthony at mid-season, but did they mortgage their future?

I have read what the issues are and some seem untenable. A hard cap? How is that supposed to work in practicality? Boy, if there is jealousy now, wait til that kicks in.

How was the 10-year figure determined where salaries would be fixed? The effect of improvement couldn't be felt by year four or five? Or at 6.5 years?

I must ask. How did the owners arrive at these meetings? Did they peddle? Did they Greyhound it? Did they carpool? Did they fly coach or business or economy? I bet you they all flew first class!

This, in spite of the fact, Stern has always wanted to grow the business internationally, prides himself on that achievement and within the last year advanced the notion of having a London franchise!

If the owners are so cash strapped, then how is this even being discussed?  What, the international marketplace will continue to have unabated growth? Will Europe not have any financial setbacks?

Stern and the owners are totally obvious to the hardships they are inflicting, adding scores to the unemployment lines at a time when the economy is struggling to recover. They want what they want and damn it, they are gonna get it! Damn the torpedoes!

Has Stern considered the massive public relations fallout that will undoubtedly result?

It's easier to have a fallen politician apologize to his constituency and the public at large, than to have the Phoenix Suns owner stand before a microphone and say Mea Culpa. Or the Celtic corporate boss have a free night as a gesture to fans to make up for the untold damage.

He may expect fans to return and some undoubtedly will. Some will be bombastic and tell the local chat show host that they won't return. Adamancy will seep in on both sides. Some will shift the blame onto the players. Others will not care.

One very fundamental truth is being overlooked. An owner CANNOT own anything unless there is something to own!  Why not work with said employees?

By all accounts, the players seem to want to do just that. Yes, the goal is to make money and yes, money must be spent in order to accomplish this. That tenet seems to be forgotten. Ancillary businesses thrive and contribute to the overall health and welfare of any company.

Stern is advancing the notion that if the players give back substantial monies to balance the scales, then all will be right with the NBA. Perhaps. But what's to stop these very same owners from emulating what transpired in 2008 when the collapse of banks and by extension the entire financial system was imminent?

The government created TARP, gave a few healthy banks capital injections and hoped the program would work without any assistance for the people who lost their homes etc. The banks, for the most part, held onto the monies with an extreme few paying it back. 

Can Stern? Or would he be willing to offer a personal guarantee that this situation would not happen again? EVER?

As a fan, the answer to that above mentioned question is of paramount significance.

And what is the NBA trying to achieve by denying THEIR OWN FANS the right to access their favorite team's Web site? What's the goal or rationale for such a silly thing to do?

That smacks of ham-handness  and disrespect for the very people who are responsible for attending NBA games. But what of those whose disposable incomes are severely restricted? Does he really think if the entire season is lost, this somehow serves the greater good?

Go onto any NFL site and its the same today as it was postseason as it was when the lockout was first instituted.  Why is most optimistic a deal forthcoming? Because the NFL continued to talk.

Despite court motions being filed, the notion of a lost season was never really parlayed into the national consciousness. Particularly since if the final decisions are to be handed down by the courts.

Yes, the right to appeal would come into play which might eventually lead to going before Congress to explain and justify why the league is entitled to anti-trust exemptions. Something I am sure no team owner wants. No matter how belligerent he may be.

There is a line most apropos from 1977's Star Wars (later the title was affixed as Episode 4: A New Hope):

Princess Leia to Governor Tarkin: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

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