NBA Lockout Gets Longer, Future of Season Gets Darker

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With two more weeks of NBA action getting cancelled, it seems that even having a federal mediator isn’t helping both sides reach an agreement. The owners aren’t planning on budging from the 50-50 split offer, while the players are turning more and more aggressive, at least in their media comments. Some of these comments tend to backfire.

For example, Tyson Chandler – It’s unfair to the players, it’s unfair to the fans because it’s only going to lead to a longer lockout. A negotiation is a negotiation, and that’s the way it should be, but this is more dictators than anything, and I don’t feel this is going as a negotiation. Ooooh… Dictators. Bad word. Maybe not as bad as Plantation overseer, but pretty bad.

I don’t know how much public opinion matters in the actual sense of helping this thing getting resolved. After all, the only way to see how bad the damage caused by this rift between the players and owners will be known when the League actually starts. How much does attendance drop, how much less merchandise is getting bought, TV Ratings. All the ways to measure how bad things really are don’t exist right now.

Still, both sides, despite announcing earlier in the negotiations that they won’t be letting details get leaked out to the media and so on and so on, are trying pretty hard to sway public opinion. I guess it matters. And public opinion, despite usually going towards the players, who are the real asset of the league, of any sport, is difficult to maneuver when the financial situation isn’t that great.

Having players, who make 5,6,7,9,12 million dollars a year compare themselves to slaves, call their bosses dictators and so on is just an insult to the common working man. The 99%, which is the popular term these days. When Tyson Chandler, who has earned nearly 80 million dollars in ten year career, over 10 mil a year during the last four seasons, calls the owners dictators, he’s going to get called out as a greedy SOB.

You can’t compare a sport in which the average salary is 5.something million year to an office jobs, with the norms and rules of  common workplace. Look, Chandler and the players have a point, or more, right. They are the product. They sell out arenas, the get Jerseys sold, they are the reason people watch it on TV, selling ad spots.

As true as the owners are only gaining ground with the lockout growing longer and longer, and as true as it seems, the owners wanted this lockout, just like David Stern warned Billy Hunter two years ago, this isn’t bad against good. Shades, like everything else in life, exist here. Owners are losing money. Not as much as they claim, but still are. There isn’t true parity in the league, financially at least. Professionally, it exists.

There are too many teams in the league, and there’s been some bad business, very bad business decision made by the league and the owners, the guys with the money. Their hardball approach in forcing the players to take the 50-50 Revenue share before further negotiations is close to despicable. But their egos are just as big, just as fragile, and simply, it’s easier for them to lengthen these labor talks. Calling them out in the media isn’t getting this deal signed anytime sooner.