FanPost

#NBAFanVoice: An Excercise in Imagination

Promoted FanPost

Times are rough.  Most NBA teams are losing money.  The owners demand that the players give up billions of dollars in order to not lose money.  The players give in and the NBA season is saved.  Fast forward 10 years, the NBA has grown internationally.  It's more popular than ever, and the NBA owners call a meeting of the players association.  Superstar veterans, such as Kevin Durant, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are in attendance.  Which is more realistic?

New NBA commissioner:  The economy is booming.  People are spending money left and right.  The owners have numbers that show that the NBA is extremely profitable.  Every team is making million dollars in profits.  We demand we change the BRI so the players take 57% so we are not too profitable. 

OR

David Stern (in Darth Vader mask):  The NBA is barely turning a profit.  The NBA is not competitive at the top because big market teams have an unfair advantage over the small market teams.  The NBA is predicted to suffer financial losses in the future with the rise in popularity of foreign leagues.  The NBA would generously like to guarantee the players 3 Billion dollars per year in salaries for the next 10 years, which is only slightly less than what they made this year, and keep the rest in order to improve our game and make the teams more competitive and the league more profitable.  

   This Lockout is imposed on us by the Owners.  The players have been unfairly portrayed as greedy in the media.  This cannot be further from the truth.  The players are actually quite the opposite.  The percent of the BRI they are standing firm at, 53% is significantly LESS ($160,000,000) than what they earned last season.  Even if the Owners offered a 50-50 split, that is 7% ($280,000,000) more than what they earned last season.  How can asking for less money be considered greedy while asking for more money be considered giving ground?

   Why do the players have such a poor reputation among the fans?  Perhaps there is a lack of sympathy because these guys ONLY play basketball for a living and make millions while we bust our humps everyday and can barely make ends meet.  Why should Micheal Beasley and Ron Artest deserve millions of dollars?  They should just be happy with their 2 Billion dollars that the owners are offering and just play ball.  This view is too short-sighted.  These players bring entertainment to Billions of people throughout the world.  The inspire millions of children to work hard and compete.  How many times did you go out and try an Iverson crossover, Jordan fade-away, a Kareem sky-hook? etc.  How many of us wear the jerseys of our favorite players?  Lebron, Kobe, Rondo, Rose, Howard these guys bring so much pleasure to so many people in the world.  Why shouldn't they be paid for it?  

   What about the NBA owners?  Why aren't fans calling the NBA owners greedy when in fact they are the ones asking for more money?  Perhaps it is OK for a businessman to make millions of dollars because they are expected to be greedy.  Somehow being rich because you own a business is more acceptable than being rich because you are the best basketball player in the world.  However the fact remains that NBA players are among the most exclusive people in the world.  There can only be so many NBA players and they have to be the best in the world at what they do or they will lose their job to someone else.  They deserve every last cent of what they make and probably more.  

   As badly as the economy is doing, If the CEO of your company locks you out of your job and demands your workers Union you have to take a large salary cut or you're out of a job what would you do?  What if they propose such changes to the system (hard cap, getting rid of exceptions, non-guaranteed contracts etc.) that you and other middle-class workers will be stuck earning chicken feed while upper management will earn most of the money?  What if they claim that they gave up a lot of ground because they really wanted to cut your salary by 19.3% (46-54 BRI) but would now settle for 12.3% (50-50 BRI) and your VOLUNTARY offer of a 7%(53-47 BRI) pay cut is not enough.

   I would like to see the NBA lower ticket prices so more fans can attend games.  If a child goes to see NBA games they are creating fans for life who will spend much money towards the NBA in the future.  You want to make the NBA more popular, then give out free tickets to young fans so they can meet NBA players and be inspired by them.  Then you might increase the number of people who watch the games on TV, buy merchandise etc.  Make NBA league pass accessible to more people so they can watch the games.  Overhaul the referees and officials so that we can start fresh and rebuild the tarnished reputation of fixed games and series.  Try to bring better consistency in how calls are made so there is no bias towards superstars.  Take a hard stance towards flopping and start handing our technical fouls or at least fines for flopping.  Add a greater level of transparency to the Draft lottery so there is no rumors of fixing there.  If you want to make the league more competitive and balanced then make the league share all its profit.  Whether you are a fan in LA or Chicago you are a fan of the NBA.  There should only be an "NBA" market.  There are so many ways to make the NBA more profitable and competitive but instead we have this lockout which will accomplish nothing in the long run except make the NBA owners more money.  

   I hope that the fans realize that lockout is the fault of the owners and only the owners.  They are money grubbing as is expected of businessmen, but it is the fans and players who are paying the price.  If the players accept a 50-50 deal that only means that the owners will ask for 40-60 in the next CBA.  If they league is serious about just wanting to make a small profit, I wonder if the owners will accept a deal that is contingent upon the economy, i.e. the league will only take as much of the BRI as to insure a small profit while the rest will go to the players whether it is the 54% they had originally asked for or the 43% they are making now.

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