And thus day 1 of The Lockout begins. I wasn't going to write anything today (my own little lockout) but then someone asked me a question that got my mind going. So here's my little rant.
Someone asked me in the comments "are you pro-players or pro-owners?"
My glib answer is "I'm pro-concession stands workers." My more in-depth answer is this: I don't really feel sorry for either side and I'm not particularly rooting for either side. I see that the system is broken and I wish I knew how to fix it (and had the means to fix it). But at the end of the day the issues are too complex, too multi-layered, and too clouded in proprietary mystery for me to know with full certainty that whatever opinion I could formulate would be the "right" one.
Those that know me know that I'm allergic to politics. I fully respect those that are into politics and I'm glad there are bright minds out there working through important issues. And yes, I vote and I encourage everyone to vote. But I hate it. I can't stand the bickering and the posturing and the outright lying that happens in politics. And I don't like it when people judge other people and put them into stereotyped boxes based on the way they feel about certain issues. And when it comes right down to it, I can't be 100% sure that any one position is absolutely the right side to be on because there are so many butterfly effect ripples of consequence to keep track of.
On a much, much smaller scale, that is what this owners vs. players debate seems like to me. I know enough finance to understand that some owners may be losing some money, but not as much as they are claiming - and we'll never really know the full truth behind those numbers. You want me to root for Donald Sterling (deplorable for so many reasons) and the other billionaires that wrote bad check after bad check to shoot themselves in the foot? Not going to happen.
On the flipside, do you expect me to stand up for the rights of players like Eddy Curry and Mark Blount? KG can make impassioned speeches about giving up millions of dollars (of which he has a few more lying around) and the players can wear their cute t-shirts of solidarity (hey, we know you all love each other, that's how you are creating your own super-teams). The veterans minimum salary is over a million dollars a year. I'm not feeling sorry for any of you.
Also, you can't just apply the same rules of "well my boss does XYZ and I have to ABC, etc." because this is a different world than what you and I work in. It is a entertainment business with a group of companies that both compete and work as a single entity. It is collectively bargained and the players are both the workers and stakes-holders. You can't compare this business model with your job - it is like comparing apples and aardvarks.
With that said, both sides have had plenty of time to come up with any number of plans that could work for both the owners and the players and instead they've followed the negotiation 101 rulebook of starting out with offers that the other side would never accept in a million years. Hooray. Way to go. Enjoy your summer, ...we won't.
The majority of causal NBA fans will yawn and say "wake me when it is over." Well I can't do that. I live and breathe this stuff and now it is being ripped away from me and I'm bitter. So I'm pro-ballboys. I'm pro-training staff. I'm pro-ticket sales reps. I'm pro-beat writers. I'm pro-fans. The owners and players can both jump in a lake (off their yachts). I hope they get sunburned.
And if you haven't had enough of this fun, please enjoy these links.
- Top 10 Things Fans Will Miss If There's A Season-Long Lockout - Behind the Basket - The Antidote for Conventional Wisdom
- NBA labor talks: Is the league really losing money? - ESPN
- NBA lockout: Cordial CBA talks bound to get nasty - ESPN
- NBA Website Takes On New Look After Lockout Deadline - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
- 11 thoughts about the end of the CBA - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
- What the lockout means for the NBA and the Celtics - WEEI
- NBA lockout threatens entire season
Non Lockout related links: