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.”
— Mike Genung
What Took So Long To Get Serious?
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.