2011 NBA Lockout: The Real Victims Are Not the Players and Owners

Dan Tylicki@DanTylickiAnalyst INovember 14, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10:  NBA Commissioner David Stern (C) and NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver (L) speak  to members of the media after a press conference after the NBA and NBA Player's Association met to negotiate the CBA at The Helmsley Hotel on November 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As I'm sure you all know by now, the NBA players' union rejected the owners' latest offer, are now in the process of disbanding and are planning to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA.

As a result, the odds of there being an NBA season at all in 2011-12 are pretty much zero.

Back and forth, owners and players are bickering, trying to get the other to fold their hand. The decertification is just the latest step of that in the owners' eyes, and David Stern has noted that it is not a winning strategy.

Having said all that, the players are not the victims here.

Most of them have been making millions, and they will be entirely fine without a season. If they want to play for love of the game or for more money, then they can play overseas.

The owners are not the victims either.

NBA franchises are worth nine figures without question, and for the past decade have just been increasing in value. Even if they are losing money, as most are, the others will be entirely fine having to hold off a year, especially since they won't lose as much.

No, neither side has any right to play the victim card. Even the fans don't, as once the lockout ends, the fans will naturally come right back—even if it takes a while. It's another side, however, who can use that excuse.

The real victims of the lockout are not the players, and they are not the owners. The victims are the small businesses and employees of not only the franchises, but companies associated with them.

Not only that, but those who run team shops will be feeling the burn as well, as merchandise revenue is naturally going to go down bigtime, and those who work in the arenas during games are all out of work unless they can pull off working for other events in said arenas.

Should the lockout continue to drag out, who will be the first to be shown the door?

It will be those who work paycheck to paycheck in the team offices, who will now be out of work. It will be those who make a living from the NBA and who have never complained about wanting a greater share of the revenue.

While millionaires argue with millionaires, those who are actually working with their respective franchises for the love of the game will be out of work, adding to an already terrible job market.

Even when the lockout is over, there's no guarantee that these jobs will return, as it will take time for revenue to build back up.

A few weeks back, an anonymous NBA team employee stated in an open letter pretty much what I just said. Those who are making an honest living have no say in this battle, and they will be the ones who suffer without a season.

Needless to say, I'm pretty angry at what has happened. I'm not mad with there being no season necessarily, as there are other sports I can watch. I'm mad because these two sides battle back and forth, and no matter which side you support, they aren't the ones that are greatly hurt by this.

Shame on the players and shame on the owners for not coming to a deal. Thousands of workers will be hurt by it, and I wonder if either side actually cares about that fact. Somehow I doubt that.