NBA Lockout: 7 Lessons Association Could Learn from NFL's Labor Dispute
The NFL lockout brought to our attention how valuable we cherish sports. Now that it's over, fans can regain the joy of watching football on Sunday's. However, the current NBA lockout is in a deeper mess.
With both sides differing in issues such as the soft salary cap and revenue share, it is difficult to see when this lockout will end. The NBA and players union (NBPA) have scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss negotiations.
As this lockout continues, the NBA can learn from the mistakes the NFL lockout brought and how to avoid them. Here are the seven lessons the association should learn from the NFL.
Consider Your Players
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The NBA should learn from the NFL that players are willing to find other jobs. The NFL made players sit out and watch the lockout process develop. As a result, players were sensing an urgency to find other jobs in case the lockout never ended.
The current NBA players are following the same steps. With names such as Deron Williams signing in Turkey and the possibility of Kobe Bryant playing in Italy, players are considering playing overseas.
At the same time, the NBA has a considerable amount of players including Bryant, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and others who are aging. In a league where preparation is key, older players do not like having to wait and see valuable time in their careers fade away.
Fans Matter Too!
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Besides players, fans also play an important role in the growth of a sport. A lockout only hurts a league by having anxious fans who are unsure and can create a fallout of fans for games drop significantly.
Not only that, fans tend to shift their interest to other sports. The NBA should pay close attention to inform fans. The NFL did a poor job to ensure fans that a deal would be reached. Although the likelihood of a deal for the NBA is far, there is always a possibility on any day where a deal can happen.
The NBA should pass as much information to the media about the lockout situation in order for fans to feel as though they are a part of the process. This allows fans to stay up to date on the issues and see the progress both sides are making.
Keep Negotiations Simple
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At the end of the day both sides want to know what they will receive under a new collective bargaining agreement.
In the NFL, the process to get a deal done was confusing and overwhelming for players and fans who were not up to date on the issues the league face. The NFL kept the discussions secretly under private meeting that did not allow the public understand why it was taking so long for a deal to reach.
If the NBA wants to avoid such confusion, the league should keep negotiations between both sides simple and avoid long disputes that can lead to longer holdouts during the lockout.
If there was anything that made things worse for the NFL lockout, it had to be the courts getting involved. By having a third party in the negotiations, the time it takes to get a deal done becomes longer. Not only that, but the power of each side to propose an agreement is lost.
Since the NBA has harder issues, owners and union leaders must understand that the more they discuss the problems the quicker a deal can be reached. If the courts become involved, both sides would expand the lockout by having to wait for hearings and decisions court judges could make.
The NBA should know that bringing the courts is not the ideal situation fans and players want to see. Instead, both sides should avoid any third party as much as possible and gather together to find a deal soon.
Nov. 1, 2011 has Bulls at Mavs. A marquee game in jeopardy.
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Although this seems very hard to accomplish, the NBA should avoid missing any regular season games. The importance of having a full season is vital for teams who will be involved in trying to make the playoffs. The less games there are in a season means that remaining games matter more.
The NFL did a wonderful job in reaching a deal before any games were missed. Although the NBA has already lost its preseason games, the regular season is what counts.
If no deal is reach soon, games will begin to be miss and the schedule of the NBA will change dramatically. The worst part, many marquee matchups are in the first two weeks, causing a major setback for the season.
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The NFL is having to face injuries throughout the league at the current moment. Due to the lockout, NFL players across teams are experiencing what the NBA should avoid the most.
Although the league has no control over what players do during the lockout, the impact of not having the standard practices that teams hold for each sport is vital for a player's body. Since the NFL got a deal weeks before the preseason, players were forced to play with little or no practice and has resulted in fatal injuries.
The NBA does not want to see prime players get injured overseas either. Getting a deal as soon as possible will avoid injuries that can hurt a team's chances of making the playoffs.
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Similar to the NFL, the NBA is perhaps the league with the biggest momentum. With the union of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami, the aging of the Lakers and Celtics, and the defending champions Dallas Mavericks, the league is at a moment of rise.
Not only that, many other teams have demonstrated strong competition such as the Magic, Hawks, Knicks, Thunder and Spurs. If you include the young stars emerging such as Blake Griffin, David Stern and the NBA are currently in a time where the sport is facing a lot of story lines.
The only problem is the lockout. The NFL was able to continue the great run the league has by getting a deal done before any games were lost. If the NBA can do the same (which I doubt they will), then basketball will emerge back to the top of one of the greatest sports to follow.