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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The NBA season can take a hike

I think the National Basketball Association lockout is hilarious. The owners and the players are both fools who may get what they deserve: half empty arenas where everyone loses.

In cases like this, I usually side with the owners as I don’t think most of the players, especially in the NBA, are ever going to challenge Einstein’s IQ score. Not that the owners are geniuses, but most of them are rich guys who, unlike most of the players, probably at least went to a few classes in college, and were either smart or clever enough to accumulate the dough to buy the team. Their problem, however, is that in their quest to be a cool owner, they sometimes give away the doorknobs to a mediocre player which raises the level of income that other players feel they should get.

Hence, we now have a stalemate between millionaires and billionaires, both of whom feel they are getting the short end of the stick or, as many of the players like to say, are being “disrespected”. Since “disrespected” is considered a “hip-hop” term at best, maybe some of the players should have at least darkened the doorway of an English class while they got their free ride at some college.

They might even impress someone who cares if they could speak and dress to league standards. But, isn’t that one of the problems with the players? Many don’t come across as mature adults and rebel at league policies concerning proper dress when traveling or doing interviews. They want to “have their cake and eat it too.” My advice is for them to quit the NBA and see if they can get another job that pays millions a year for about six months work. Tattoo covered player Allen Iverson once said that not being able to dress in hip-hop style was “preventing me from expressing myself.” Maybe he would be happier expressing himself as an all night clerk at a Circle K.

Dan Bickley and Paola Boivin of the Republic are leaning toward the side of the players. Boivin calls Commissioner David Stern of the NBA a “bully” and Bickley warns the owners to be careful to not insult the players. What have those two been drinking? With polls showing that 76% of those asked could not care less about the NBA, what leverage is there for the players?

I’m in the 76% group but it wasn’t always that way. I loved the NBA of the 1960s with guys like Connie Dierking, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek, and many others. I always looked forward to the ABC Sunday afternoon games with announcers Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman. Today, ticket prices are way too high and TV ratings too low and management and players are both responsible.

Jared Dudley, the union rep for the Phoenix Suns who is a bench guy, says it well: “Fans don’t want to hear it……..I make a lot of money to play basketball. I’m going to get at least 3 to 4 years of my deal. I’m a role guy. I can live off that the rest of my life.”

My suggestion: Cancel the season. I’m tired of June basketball playoffs anyway.

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