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NBA Lockout Update: Nuclear Winter is Upon Us

So are they blowing the whole thing up?  All that work put in last season. High ratings, incredible playoffs and a first time winner with the so called villains in Miami coming up short to the delight of millions!  Yes, last season in the NBA was indeed one for the ages. But no one is going to remember or think much about it if the 2011-2012 season, doesn’t take place due to the league’s lockout.

As expected, the players union rejected the owner’s latest proposal, which came with an ultimatum of a worse deal, if the current offer wasn’t accepted.  So now the players will eliminate their union so they can go after the lockout in court in the form of an anti-trust suit.  Translation, the entire negotiation has gotten personal. 

The players don’t believe the owners are acting in good faith but instead trying to bully their way to a new deal.  The owners didn’t necessarily like the last offer they made and were hoping the players wouldn’t take it.  The small market teams like Cleveland and Denver want to stick it not only to the players but the currant system, that they feel gives them no chance to compete on a equal playing surface as the players hold all the cards where they want to sign as free agents due to a flexible salary cap.  The whole thing has just gotten ugly but there are a few things both sides have seemed to completely forget about during these 138 days of lockout.

In the state of America right now with families working multiple jobs to just pay the rent, the elderly hoping the social security and pensions last long enough to survive on and other professions continue to cut jobs and salaries, no one is going to show any pity to billionaires and millionaires fighting over money that won’t change there lives in any dramatic way.  Who is this lockout really hurting? 

Stadium workers, vendors, parking lot attendants and ushers!  People that attempt to make a living off these 30-thousand dollar per year seasonal jobs. People depending on NBA games to survive.  People a lot worse off than any small market owner or bench warming professional player. Its amazing how a game that originates in the inter-city, played by a majority of people that come from poor backgrounds, can turn its back on those very people who support it and depend on it. The folks who weren’t given height, talent or athletic ability! How can both sides simply shun the people who need games played more than they do? 

It’s simple because greed and pride have over-taken the entire process.  Like all sports the NBA is supposed to be about the fans.  They love the game; they pay the salaries and make the league able to charge billions for simply televising games. But the two sides have become so determined to win the showdown, what happens to the game and its people, is an after-thought. So as we creep closer to what Commissioner David Stern called the nuclear winter of the NBA, if the lockout continues into January and the season is lost, neither side seems to realize the reality of the damage that will take place. 

Forget popularity, forget high ticket prices, and forget the global success of the game as we know it. The league will be brought back to the times of the pre-Magic, pre-Bird era. Low ratings and a league on life-support. Expect contraction and damage control that will take five years to recover from. Life in the NBA will change for certain for both the owners and players as they know it.  If they think they lost money last season or they’re dropping it now, they have no idea what will be in store for the future of their league.  The same two sides that have looked greedy and silly in the eyes of the fans will be begging them to come back.  But no one will be listening and no one will recall how great the game used to be, just a short time ago.

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