NBA Lockout Talk

I can’t comment on the Eagles’ collapse to the Bears just yet. It’s too soon. Instead, I offer you an email exchange between my cousin and I from last week pertaining to the NBA Lockout.

As you’ll see, I tend to lean toward the player’s side. My cousin is a strong supporter of the owners. Any italicized text I added later and was not included in the original exchange. Also, my cousin knows significantly more about economics, politics, and labor unions than I, so if you’re undecided about the lockout, put more weight in his analysis. Regardless, I’m still right. Maybe. Hopefully. But probably not. Without further ado, here’s our exchange that was prompted after I blamed the owners for not recognizing who makes them money.

Barry: You need to get off the union’s nuts, man.  Do you understand the players have no risk?  They never take a loss nor do the economic conditions affect their salary. Owners have all the risk, and that is even true in the NFL where players also took a big cut.  The NBA isn’t even close to the NFL.  The owners should get more because they have all the risk. I’m not saying the owners are without blame, but I disagree with you.  Not to mention Billy Hunter is all about self-preservation, not the best interests of the players. It’s starting to show through, too.

Ryan: I hear what you’re saying and I agree with you to a certain degree. That’s why I argue for 52-48. The owners are getting plenty back and the players give up a decent chunk as well.

As for risk, that’s part of the money game. Find me a multi-billionaire that didn’t become a multi-billionaire without taking a risk or two. Jeffrey Lurie took a worthless Eagles franchise and turned it into one of sports most profitable organizations. Jerry Jones did the same in Dallas. High risk, high reward. That’s the game they play. When the owners are raking it in during the good times, players don’t get an extra share. Why then should the players have to give back a share when times get tough?

Also, the reason certain NBA franchises lose money is because they shouldn’t exist. That’s the owners’ and David Stern’s fault. Stern grew the league too big and refuses to admit his mistake by contracting. An NBA franchise already failed in Charlotte and yet Stern went back. Plus, owners are the ones giving out ridiculous contracts and overpaying guys like Gilbert Arenas and Elton Brand.

If someone came to you and offered you a salary 175% higher than you knew you were actually worth, would you say so and reject the offer? Or, would you shut up and take it? You’d take it. Players can’t be blamed for accepting outrageous contracts. That’s on the owners.

As for Hunter, I agree, he’s in self-preservation mode, but I support Hunter and the players rejecting anything less than 52-48. The NBA has returned to prominence because of its players, not the owners. Smart owners are profitable in all markets. It’s the dumb ones that lose money. [Ok, so this isn’t entirely true. Even some smart franchises struggle financially.]

Barry: I agree with you partially, but not with your premise that players shouln’td take a cut when times are tough.  That is how the world works. Look at the REAL world.  Government and private people are taking pay freezes and losing their jobs.  Why should the NBA be any different? I agree with the owners making dumb decisions but as I have said, you need to set up a product to be good.  You cant tell me that if NBA contracts were similar to the NFL, the NBA product wouldn’t be improved. Better players couldn’t get away with not giving effort like they do now.

As you said, owners built their teams and those organizations, not the players. Therefore, they should get much more of a reward, because they take ALL, AND I SAY AGAIN, ALL of the risk.  The players take none.

Ryan: I’ve never been comfortable comparing professional sports to the real world, but if you must do so, the players would be giving up 5% if a 52-48 arrangement were agreed upon. That 5% more than makes up for the owners’ “losses.” [I have no idea if this is true. I’m just angered that owners want players to surrender money because they (the owners) can’t figure out how to efficiently run a franchise. The whole concept is dumb. Imagine a car company ignoring a growing trend toward efficiency for ten years and then all of sudden begging for money when it realizes it’s broke and has nothing to offer customers. Wait, what? This actually happened?] Forgive me for not sympathizing with billionaires loosing money due to their own stupidity.

Also, I never said anything about NBA contracts. I’m fine with limiting the guaranteed years of contracts, but the root of the problem isn’t the guaranteed money, it’s the amount of guaranteed money owners were throwing around.

Plus, if there’s such a steep –“I’m teetering on the edge of bankruptcy”- risk to owning an NBA team, then why are there billionaires lining up to buy an NBA franchise? The Spurs make money. [Supposedly not the past three seasons, though. I say B.S.] The Jazz make money. [I think.] Both are small market teams that, coincidentally, are diligent with player contracts. Shocking.

[Obviously, the NBA Lockout isn’t ending anytime soon, so if you would like to voice your opinion, let us know. The more, the merrier.]

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