Despite the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline that commissioner David Stern issued earlier in the week, the owners and players have deadlocked on an viable agreement. The issue is essentially over 1%. The players want leverage and the owners do not want to relinquish their holdings.
The owners and the NBA Players Association talked into the night and will reconvene at noon on Thursday after making some reported progress on key issues.
Another stalemate. Another example of ineffective communication skills. And yet one more “business” that can’t seem to get there stuff together well enough to feed the hands that keep them fat and fed.
The thousands upon thousands of workers that service the NBA games, facilities, offices and communities- are directly impacted. The economy is already significantly strained. For many, the jobs they held within the various NBA organizations kept food on the table, bills paid and clothes on the backs of themselves and children. Oh but this population is the least considered when “negotiating” a bigger slice of the plantation pie.
The question of whether or not these athletic millionaires will be in any kind of shape if and when they do return, to warrant ample crowd attendance. Will NBA owners begin “outsourcing” for talent, like baseball has done for years? We have already seen some global faces on the US courts within the past five years and will most likely see a lot more if current players are unwilling to play.
Another plausible scenario is that the crippled economy may actually be the cause for the “contrived” lockout. When fans are financially strapped, having empty seats on national t.v., makes it appear that people are no longer interested in the NBA. The brand cannot withstand that hit, especially given the WNBA’s floundering attendance. Any attempt to disassociate with downturned momentum is cause to continue “boycotting”. T
he bottom line is the NBA needs players with the discipline of Jordan, the consistency of Johnson, the fortitude of Byrd and the power of Barkley. The NBA is experiencing a lack of attention because the players have changed significantly. Nobody will pay to watch grown men whining and crying about nonsense. Folks want to see modern warriors scrapping, hustling and hungry to play.
These owners are trying to sugar coat the issue but the fact remains that the level of sportsmanship, ability and tenacity not only in basketball but in most professional sports has long since suffered from a mental lockout. The players aren’t as hungry when their pockets are overflowing and the people who provide them service are struggling to eat.
Everything is driven by the Big Business engine….please don’t be fooled.