HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’ve heard from most everyone that is allowed to speak in the days, weeks and months since the NBA lockout began.
From NBA Commissioner David Stern to union executive director Billy Hunter to an assortment of players with microphones in their faces and on twitter, plenty of folks have weighed in on the impasse that is holding up the 2011-12 regular season.
The only voice missing, at least around these parts, has been that of the fans. Until now, of course. We will lift the silence today, in whatever way we can, by sharing some of the correspondences we have received here at the hideout in the wake of last week’s breakdown in talks between the two sides … (these are your words):
The Voice Missing From The Equation
There is a key party with no representation at the labor negotiations between the players and owners – the fans. The fans are the ones who pay those multi-million dollar salaries on both sides and buy all those jerseys and other sports paraphernalia. I’ve been a basketball fanatic ever since I was a kid in the ’70s. When I read that 2 billion dollars isn’t enough for 400 players who are playing basketball for a living in what is a non-essential profession such as sports entertainment in an economic downturn, it gets my blood boiling.If I were to represent the fans at those meetings, my words would be sharp and to the point:“Players, we pay your salaries. You are not the intangible asset, we are. If the owners are in fact telling the truth and only 8 teams are profitable, and a 50/50 split is what they need to remain viable over the long-term, then tighten your belts (yeah right) and accept the 50/50 split.If just one more game is canceled, WE are going to boycott YOU. Many of us will stop attending your games and spending money on your jerseys and other accessories. That 4 billion dollar pot is going to shrink, fast. You can have 50% of 4 billion dollars (which still sounds ridiculously high for us peasants in the stands), or hold out, cancel more games, lose more salary, enrage your true employers, and try to hold out for a bigger portion of what will surely be a smaller pot.”
What bothers me the most besides a deal not getting done, is the fact that players and owners have had enough time to talk about a deal since the lockout started. Why wait until the end of September to start having serious talks about the CBA.Basketball has become a fixture in my house for over 25 years and have seen my favorite team go through some ups and downs.Just recently my daughter (last season) was really getting into the games and I started to notice that not only was she watching our favorite team, but started to follow other teams as well, turning on the computer and watching archive games on League Pass. This brought a tear to my eyes. How much she was looking forward to the next season was exciting to watch. Marking on her calendar and coming up to me saying only so many more days ’til the season. WOW, how excited I was for her; at the same time hiding my thoughts about the lock out.I came home from work one day, as we sat at the table for dinner and I told her that the lockout may cause some games to be lost, I can see it in her big hazels she was disappointed, but, were hoping for the best outcome of the labor talks. Just like dad, she began paying attention to all the negativity that was being thrown around, she started watching NBA TV to keep tabs on the labor talks or lack there of. Moving forward to the 30 plus hours of talks, she followed these meetings hoping to hear what we all wanted to hear, that an agreement has been made. NOTHING. Both sides (as I refuse to say respective) came out and said that a deal was not reach. Listening to Adam Silver and Peter Holt talk their talk and Hunter and Derek Fisher talk their talk, she couldn’t believe what was being said. She asked me, “Doesn’t the players work for the owners”? I say yes, then she said, “Why do they want to make more money than their boss?” I responded with a I’m not sure but I would love to make more money than my boss …The one thing we don’t want to hear is how all these players and owners that are leaving the Twitter messages or saying to the world how they feel for the fans and the local businesses, how sorry they are that there isn’t any basketball because we can’t figure out how to distribute millions of dollars. We don’t want to hear it, we just want you to get a deal done … go back to talking, go back to figuring this situation out. Because when my daughter is upset I get very upset.
It’s called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. I’m done and I’m walking away. They, the owners AND players don’t give a damn about the fans or the game. I don’t give a rodents rump if they ever settle. I will never watch another NBA game.
All this talk about cutting the pie brings me back to childhood. Mom used to give me and my brother a piece of pie, she would let one of us cut it, but the other got to pick which piece they wanted. I don’t understand why the NBA can’t do what 5 year olds can..
I’ve always wondered about how much the teams actually cared about the fans, and now we all finally know. When players, owners, and the NBA do commercials at the end of the season to thank fans for the support throughout the season, we now know that they only thank the fans when their pockets are lined with millions of dollars at the end of the day. I am normally a huge NBA fan and a die-hard Warriors fan, but I’m not a fan of either at the moment. After all the support we show, you’d think the NBA could put aside a couple of differences so that we could have a season, especially since the only reason the NBA makes any money is because the fans pay for tickets and watch on TV. I know any real fan is truly upset right now. This is a sad day for the NBA…P.S. If the season happens, the 2012 NBA championship won’t be legit with the minuscule number of games.
So disappointing…. Not really sure how 30 hours of negotiations can produce zero results. I wish I could tell the players and the owners that there are fans who rely on the NBA to get through their day, to inspire them, to bring purpose, and to fill that basketball void that is inside us true fans. Don’t see how this lockout is good for anybody. The owners are all so rich, can’t they just give the players what they want? I realize it’s complicated, but this is starting to seem more about ego than money (at least partly). Just needed to vent, thanks.
I have the solution to the revenue split.Compromise: For the first $75 Million, revenue split 50/50. For everything over $75 million: 57 players/43 owners split. So if the players have a killer $ season, they get rewarded. If the season bombs, the owners still get their 50/50.I just want basketball to begin.
I don’t know where else I can reply but here. What the players are talking about greed of the owners not wanting to share, what did the players ever do to build these places they play in and the parking lots to get the fans there to see them?It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the players are the greedy ones. They don’t care about the fans keep in mind what players like Charles Barkley did to the fans he loved so much.This is really a sign of greed of the players, not the owners. Let the players go to another country and play we will watch it here.Good Luck, but before you go why don’t you players show you are really are the role models you wanted to be when you signed those contracts before you knew how much money you could try to scam out of the owners and the fans. Do we have to really believe Sir Charles, oh I am sorry, I mean Charles Barkley, who once said he never wanted to be a role model.Every time you players do something like this you’re hurting the fans because they will have to pay more to see YOU play, pay more to park, and pay more at the concessions to drink or eat. There will be a time when that will end. Should it be now or the next time, because you will do it again. You have already demonstrated you will do it again. How many times now have you done this, five or six? You just want more. That is what you call greed.GOOD LUCK JUST STOP AND THINK!
Losing trust in the NBA. I don’t know the details but will not have my son disappointed, no way!
Couldn’t Hold It In Any Longer
Usually I am a NBA fan that doesn’t speak out publicly. I don’t go around writing blogs on how great I think the NBA is, I don’t go and post troll comments on the internet about how much I hate certain players, or what I think of certain teams in the league in general. What I can say that I am, though, is a hardcore NBA fan. When it’s offseason, I’m following players that I hope will eventually grow to become the next superstars. During season, I’m following the record of the Lakers very closely and seeing if they can pull off another championship. I’m the person that is by far the most knowledgeable about the NBA in my group of friends — when they need someone to talk to about the NBA, I’ve got the stats behind the players; I’ve got the trademark moves, and I’ve even been picking up on some of the plays that teams run from time to time.Yet, right now, the events that have happened over the last month or so have really hit hard. Yes, I understand that there is considerable frustration among the owners, especially when we’re talking about such large sums of money. But because of the way that they’ve gone about things, I’m really starting to doubt whether the NBA will have a season at all this year, which is obviously annoying. But, for the first time in my life I have reconsidered as to whether I actually wish to continue following the NBA.I have not followed the NBA for my entire life. Many people found it quite odd that when I played basketball in high school, even though I was one of the top players, I had no idea who Kobe Bryant and T-Mac were (back in the day). I only knew of a man called Michael Jordan, but didn’t realise his insane gift and hard work that he displayed for the game; his pure passion for the game.It took a long time to find out who the greats of the game were, and a lot of You Tube-ing to make sure that I knew just how great some of the past players were (and I can still say that after all of this time I can’t fully appreciate them, which is a sad thing!). Yet, in all of my time following the NBA I never thought that this would be what it was all about; the owners and players unable to agree on a figure that makes them both happy.I do agree that the NBA needs to be rebalanced, as there are many teams that find themselves without a winning record year-in, year-out. A team like Sacramento comes to mind; when I started following the NBA, that was the era when Chris Webber and Mike Bibby were ripping it up and they found themselves playing at the top of the Western Conference. Ray Allen was still in Seattle and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were nowhere to be seen yet, and the NBA had yet to hear of the man known as LeBron James. But, even when we look at the league, we had some damn exciting matches. The Lakers-Mavs series is one that comes to mind, and the annual Lakers-Spurs series back then was nothing short of incredible. Unfortunately I can’t speak for the Eastern Conference because I hated all the teams there when I started watching basketball, but as I’ve grown from a young fan to an experienced fan, this level of excitement is most certainly still there. In fact, withouta doubt last season was the most exciting season across all teams that reached the playoffs. All the teams that made it were competitive and there was a huge level of grit and determination shown in the lower teams.The Grizzlies were a team that I wrote off in the first round of the playoffs. In their first-round matchup against the Spurs I was breathing a sigh of relief because I thought if they played the Lakers, they would give them a hard time. I didn’t expect them to take the Thunder to seven games in the conference semifinals. But in just these few examples, isn’t it clear that there are many teams that do have the potential to get out of their losing ways? Many teams are able to escape that “culture” of losing, and turn themselves into legitimate teams. It doesn’t happen immediately, but that’s not the point – the process takes years, and if you’re lucky, you get a couple of excellent picks, and you find yourselves in a great situation. Just looking at OKC over the last few years shows their progress, with coach Scott Brooks, KD and Westbrook, they suddenly transformed themselves from a team that I didn’t want to watch into one which I root for every time they come to the playoffs.Let’s be clear here: each and every owner and player makes a lot of money. I find it difficult to believe that the owners would be arguing over the same split which has obviously kept many of them in the market for so many years. These negotiations haven’t been made in good faith, and the words that Chuck said earlier on NBA.com really rang true to me. How can the owners be so angry at losing money when they spend ridiculous amounts of money on terrible players? Not meaning to rip them, but like he said, Rashard Lewis is not worth that amount of money. I don’t even reckon he’s worth the starting spot on that team, yet they gave him money that could be better spent elsewhere. Another thing that I don’t appreciate is that players demand more money at times. What they should be thinking is how blessed they are to be playing in a league where the competition is unparalleled, where they have the opportunity for the entire world to see their talents. Money should be secondary; even the amounts earned from a bench player would be more than enough to take these players through life comfortably.With the way things are going right now, I’m getting sick of checking whether the NBA season is going to be coming back at all. I’m tired of waiting for that excitement building up to the season, and if it actually does happen this year, it won’t be able to carry the wonderful momentum that it did from last year. One of the reasons why I’m so angry about this entire lockout is the fact that the owners didn’t bother to think about last season at all; it’s like they thought of this as an opportunity to attempt to get some money back, rather than realising that last years ratings were the highest ratings ever in the NBA. This lockout has damaged that momentum from last season, and should we see games, they will be overshadowed by the fact that this may happen again; that the owners are watching from where they hide, pulling strings to make sure the NBA is run in their way. The competition will be impeded by the fact that all of these actions that the players have on the court mean nothing if the owners decide it to be so.It’s tough. It’s real tough trying to stay committed to the game. Yet, with bickering like this, I feel that the NBA has lost what it’s all about, and because of that, I don’t know whether I’ll be good to follow it anymore.