In the Mix

December 25, 2011

The NBA Lockout: Another One?

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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Not this again… Why can’t basketball players find their own drum to beat? The NFL already rang that bell, ring another bell – or better yet, go push a buzzer or something!

To be fair, the NBA has done the four times; So technically, the NFL is the copycat. Maybe they should have coordinated their lockouts not to occur in the same calendar years… yeah, that would have felt a bit better to us fans…

Here’s some history: This lockout reduced the season from 82 games to 66, but, the previous lockout in 1998 reduced the season even more – from 82 games to 50. Does that mean the current players are more reasonable? The current owners are more reasonable? NO. It means one of them didn’t get enough the last time and needed to get just a little bit more…

In any event, the details are pretty much the same – The players and the owners were having a stare-down over who should get the most money. As if they both don’t already have enough. But, ironically, the true show of greed was from the owners. The players ultimately had their share of the basketball related income reduced from 57% to 51%, then 49-51% in subsequent years.

I’d like to be able to call this a Christmas gift, but, it feels more like coal in the stocking. I think there’s just not as much enthusiasm for Basketball as there is for Football. Basketball season is longer, there’s more games, it’s harder to keep up with the schedule… But, the game itself is so much more energetic..

No matter, the NBA has been through some dark times of late. Fighting on the court, throwing things at spectators. Football players tend to do most of their dirty work in the street, not on the field (most of the time). Basketball players of late, however, have started bringing the street fight to the court.

The image of professional basketball has been on the decline and as a result, their squabble was not taken as personally as the NFL’s.

And while the players were the more reasonable party in this negotiation, overall, I think the fans just chose to ignore it all. Some of it’s because this lockout came right on the heels of the NFL’s; Some of it’s just the bad taste I think basketball has left in the mouths of its fans…

Sad state of affairs when good sportsmanship becomes something you have to explain to professional athletes; But, you don’t have to explain collective bargaining…

Time for the NBA to refresh it’s image from top to bottom.