One of the problems with the NBA Lockout that it came in the wrong time. The economic landscape isn’t what it was in the Mid 2000’s, and a struggle that’s being perceived as a battle between filthy rich players and filthy rich owners makes apathy, not caring or simply happy there’s no season more and more common.
Don’t get me wrong. Millions of fans are hurting. Thousands are hurt, employment-wise, and businesses that rely on an NBA season will have to withstand the blow if the tides are going the way they seem to be.
Ultimatum is never a good word to use with proud people. It hurts their fragile egos. And David Stern, more and more losing touch with the league he pretty much built and designed for nearly 30 years, used ultimatum and so far it seemed to have fail. There are plenty of players who were willing to take the 50-50 split, but not enough.
So now Stern will move on to the extremist stand, the one Michael Jordan seems to be leading. First of all, there’s no reason calling MJ a hypocrite. His franchise is losing money, and he sees an opportunity to make things better for him financially in the up and coming few years. Lord knows he’s doing everything wrong basketball personnel-wise.
So Wednesday is here, and another deadline appears. More serious than the others I fear. Because the BRI is no longer the only issue. There seems to be a hardball stance that Stern is leading – Luxury Tax, hard cap, shorter contracts. You name it. Retracting from almost everything achieved, because the players, or most of them, don’t bite the BRI offered to them. So Stern wants to punish them.
The owners will come out as winners from this, be it this week (highly unlikely), near future, or who knows, maybe after a season is cancelled. The NBA will be mortally wounded, but eventually, professional basketball will find a way and re-shape itself in such a manner that we’ll have better stability, I hope. I just Stern isn’t part of that future. His Ego, his Megalomania is a big reason that this Lockout has turned so ugly. Despair? We’re almost there.